The law is very specific on who can be an expert witness in a medical negligence case. It is important to have an expert who actually practices in the same medical specialty as the offending doctor. A medical expert cannot testify against a defendant doctor over standard of care issues unless they practice in the same area of medicine. Additionally, the summoned witness cannot be a colleague of the defendant, and they must be certified as a medical expert in Florida.
An experienced attorney may retain expert witnesses in Florida medical malpractice cases to determine an injured party’s hospital or rehabilitative expenses. A specialist’s testimony is taken very seriously in these cases and holds a lot of weight in the courtroom.
Minimum Experience Requirements
At a minimum in Florida, the witness has to be an actual doctor and must spend a large percentage of their time practicing medicine. They also must have been practicing for at least three years consecutively prior to the incident in question. Otherwise, they would not qualify as an expert witness and could not testify about another physician’s negligence in court.
However, Florida law has recently changed to include even more restrictions. One of our knowledgeable legal respresentatives could provide more information about eligibility requirements for expert witnesses in Florida medical malpractice cases.
A Patient’s Treating Physician as a Witness
A doctor who treats the patient of medical negligence lawsuit can testify in court as an expert as long as they treated them after their injuries occured. Many practicing physicians in a given area are all in the same network, and a patient may or not realize this when choosing their doctors.
Sometimes, a patient’s healthcare providers are chosen for them through the hospital system. As a result, some physicians may not make the best witnesses for that patient because they may be more loyal to the hospital and the doctors they know and work with on a day-to-day basis. A well-versed lawyer would not look to a plaintiff’s treating physician to testify as an expert witness in a Florida medical malpractice case, although they could do so.
Many times, physicians are not medical experts in their locations because they do not want to testify against a doctor in the area. That means that medical malpractice cases tend to be more expensive for an injured plaintiff because attorneys often have to search outside of the state for qualifying medical experts to testify against the offending doctor.
Learn More about Expert Witnesses in Florida Medical Malpractice Cases from an Attorney
Facing a medical negligence lawsuit can be difficult and overwhelming. For this reason, it is advisable to prepare for the nuances you might face during litigation. A skilled legal advocate from our firm could help you understand the role of expert witnesses in Florida medical malpractice cases and increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Get in touch with our team today and schedule an appointment with qualified legal counsel to learn more about these cases.