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Why Do I Need Expert Witnesses for My Iowa Medical Malpractice Claim?

Posted By Farl Greene - 06.17.20

Your Iowa medical malpractice attorney may have told you they will need to hire expert witnesses to prove your case. But why would you need these expert witnesses?

Iowa Medical Malpractice Cases Are Difficult to Prove

Medical malpractice is a difficult thing to prove under Iowa law. No Iowa malpractice attorney can say that medical malpractice was committed. Only another medical provider – who serves as an expert witness – can say it.

This is because medical care is too complicated to understand without an expert’s help. No one without a medical degree and qualifications – not even your attorney – is knowledgeable enough about medicine to say whether malpractice occurred.

An expert witness will testify how the medical provider who hurt you was negligent in their actions. The expert must have the same qualifications and knowledge as the person who hurt you in order to testify on your behalf. For example, if you were seriously injured by an anesthesiologist, only another anesthesiologist could say whether medical malpractice occurred.

Without these witnesses, an attorney cannot prove your case. These witnesses are crucial to bringing a claim against a medical provider or a health care center.

2 Questions Medical Malpractice Experts Must Consider

There are two things that any expert witness in a medical malpractice case must consider:

  1. Did the medical provider follow the standard of care?
  2. If not, did the failure to follow the standard of care cause serious injuries or kill the patient?

“Standard of care” is a baseline used by doctors in that field to say what a normal, competent doctor would have done in a situation. If the standard of care was not followed, and the doctor’s actions (or inactions) harmed the patient, then the expert witness will testify that medical malpractice occurred.

Medical Malpractice Expert Witnesses Are Expensive

These expert witnesses are part of the reason why bringing a medical malpractice claim in Iowa can be so expensive. An expert reviews your case carefully, which means looking over your medical records. If you have been seriously injured, you probably have a lot of medical records that need to be analyzed, which can take hours. If there are multiple experts that consult on your case, the cost can quickly add up.

It can also be difficult to find Iowa doctors that will testify against another Iowa doctor. The pool of doctors in Iowa is small, and most doctors will not testify against a colleague or someone they know. Usually, out-of-state doctors or other medical providers must be obtained for Iowa medical malpractice claims. While not local to Iowa, they can still give informed opinions about your claim by reviewing your medical records.

Because it takes time to track down malpractice experts and have them review your medical records, it’s important that you speak with an experienced Iowa medical malpractice attorney as soon as you can. You only have a limited amount of time to get compensation for your injuries, so it’s important to contact an attorney to review your claim.

If you would like a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our experienced Iowa medical malpractice lawyers, contact RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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