Hiring experts knowledgeable about what good medicine requires is the first and most important step in building a solid medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice litigation is complicated and expensive. Illinois law prohibits the filing of a medical malpractice case without the certification of a qualified medical professional who has reviewed the facts and made a preliminary determination that the case has merit. In most cases, that same expert becomes the expert intimately familiar with the factual situation who is vital to proving the plaintiff’s case. Without a strong expert witness to testify, the case will never succeed.
Finding reputable medical professionals to testify against their colleagues can be very challenging. The hypocrisy of star experts who believe telling the truth even if it means criticizing a doctor is shameful but defending a doctor is a badge of honor is frustrating and real. It is a much more difficult job for plaintiffs to find qualified and reputable witnesses than it is for defendants who can reach out to their network of fellow health care professionals to come to their defense. It is mind-blowing that experts take an oath to be truthful and fair and they commit their entire career only to testify on behalf of medical care providers.
Once experts are disclosed, they are turned inside out by the insurance company’s lawyer for the doctor or hospital. We have to make sure our retained experts study and understand every aspect of the case, so when they provide a report, discovery responses or testify at deposition, their credibility shines through. Medical malpractice litigation is an adversarial experience. It is opposing counsel’s job to discredit an expert’s credentials and theories, so experts must be well-prepared to fend off any attacks.
The basis and conclusions of our experts need to be rock solid. It is pure fantasy to believe an expert would remain credible unless the message is easily understood and logical. The insurance industry promotes a failed narrative about frivolous lawsuits or “sue happy people”. Frivolous lawsuits is a catch brain washing concept created by the insurance industry. To brain wash people in their mission to not pay on claims. Contingency lawyer only gets paid if he wins and typically has to invest hundreds of thousand of dollars in case expense, legal time and opportunity cost. A baseless case happens one out of a million and when it is pursued it almost a guarantee it will fail. Of course, the court system has its own checks and balances when an unfair or exuberant result occur there are checks and balances in the system which correct the aberration event. The infamous McDonald’s Coffee case was a classic example of the misinformed campaign promoted by in the insurance industry. It is clear that the 79-year-old woman did not continuously report this exceptional and unreasonable verdict to the media. What the world does not know is that her verdict was reduced by over 80% by the Appellate Court. Have you ever heard a situation when a medical provider admits fault and is found not guilty by a jury? That situation also happens but there is no access to the media or massive public relations arm like that of the insurance industry to promote wild cases as if it was the norm. It is important to remember that the justice system is constructed to facilitate a fair result between disputing parties. It does require faith, highly qualified, objective, prepared experts who will tell the truth regardless of whether they are supporting a defendant or an injured party.