A recently filed lawsuit in South Carolina sheds light on the severity of medical malpractice in our state. A two-year-old died after suffering a severe seizure. His mother is convinced, based on medical records, that the laboratory who tested his blood for a genetic mutation did not do so accurately. The lab is accused of misclassifying the child’s mutation, meaning that the lab did not feel there was enough evidence to link the mutation to his epilepsy. The outcome of this case will rely heavily on medical expert witnesses. Each side is expected to bring their own expert in order to prove the veracity of their claims.
My Expert Is Better Than Your Expert
Often times in medical malpractice cases the decision on liability comes down to which expert the jury believes. If you are the victim, then you are the plaintiff. You are required to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This includes bringing forth a well-respected expert witness in the field of medicine that is involved in the case. For example, if the case involves heart problems, it is not wise to bring a foot doctor to be your expert. You would need a good cardiologist who is well respected and is able to testify as to the nature of the malpractice. Rest assured, that the defendant will also bring their own expert witness who will most likely contradict your expert witnesses testimony. The question then is left for the jury to decide. This is often called the “battle of the experts.” Navigating this battle of medical testimony takes the skill of experienced malpractice attorneys.
The Scientific Literature
Another way that juries distinguish between expert witnesses is by looking at the literature in the scientific community at the time. Often times expert witnesses have published scientific articles or journals have had those articles or journals peer-reviewed. Medical malpractice cases often get bogged down in the science. This is understandable if you look at it from the outside point of view, where a jury who does not know you have to make a decision based on facts.
However, at Elrod Pope Law Firm, we understand the emotional, physical and psychological impact of medical malpractice injuries. We know you are more than simply statistics on a scientific report. Our experienced Rock Hill, SC medical malpractice lawyers are very qualified and able to navigate this often tricky and technical science-based case. If you are a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, please contact our law firm immediately. We are here to help you!
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.