This article was published on September 28th, 2017
No matter the size of a medical negligence claim, one thing is certain, you need a medical expert.
A medical expert plays a vital role in a clinical negligence case, providing key evidence and opinion that can make or break a case.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of attributes to look out for when selecting a medical expert for a medical negligence claim.
It’s important that the chosen expert is confident in themselves and in their own abilities as a medical practitioner.
During the claim process, they will need to be comfortable when taking part in ‘expert meetings’ and discussing the case with clients and solicitors alike.
The need for a confident and competent solicitor is equally as important.
It’s vital that the solicitor practices in the area of clinical negligence so that they have the confidence and knowledge to be able to engage fully with the medical experts and have an understanding of the medicines, treatments and terminology that will be associated with the case.
In order for the case to run as smoothly as possible, it’s imperative that the medical expert assigned to the claim is a good communicator, both in writing and orally.
This is key as a medical expert may have the correct medical opinion for the case to succeed, but if they are unable to fully explain the situation and successfully refer to the facts and medical precedent, their opinion will be less viable than it may otherwise be.
They must be able to not only explain what has gone wrong but also how and why there is a claim to be made for an incident of clinical negligence.
Before the medical expert communicates his opinion, he must first come to a decisive one.
When they are coming to their decision they should consider questions such as ‘what might a doctor do in this situation?’ and more importantly ‘what should they have done?’ It is the answer to the second question that will have a big impact on a claim’s outcome.
When a medical expert is chosen, it’s important that they have authority within their medical field.
Practicing in a particular area of the medical profession will not suffice. Their credentials must be reviewed.
Questions to consider include, what is their reputation?
Have they got an extensive and proven record of carrying out successful procedures that relate to the case in question?
Are they a published professional who have written publications on the subject matter in question?
All of these questions will help establish that the expert is an authority in their field and their opinion will be held in higher regard as a result.
The expert will be dealing with a case that has the potential to change someone’s life, so it’s important that they are fully prepared for the task at hand.
They will need to be experienced in dealing with medical records as well as being able to understand witness statements and the legal procedures that are part of a clinical negligence claim.
They should possess a keen eye for detail and be able to present their findings clearly and succinctly.
Deciding on a medical expert and understanding how to best utilise their skills is vital when working on a medical negligence claim. That’s why we here at Thorneycroft Solicitors ensure that the medical expert for your case has the attributes outlined above, in order to provide you with a good base from which to develop a strong medical negligence case and more importantly, succeed in your bid to acquire compensation.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of medical malpractice or due to clinical negligence, our team can help.
Our specialist clinical negligence solicitors are experienced in a wide variety of cases and can help you achieve the outcome you want.
They understand the complexities of medical negligence cases and work with the best medical experts ensuring they’re involved from the beginning of your case to offer guidance and advice.
If you would like to discuss a potential claim with a member of our team, please call 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you at a time that better suits you.