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Role of Medical Experts in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice lawsuits involve a great deal of highly technical medical information, in addition to the legal analysis and assessment. In order to prove a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must show the following:

  • The health care provider had a responsibility to the patient to provide the appropriate treatment;

  • The healthcare provider did not provide the appropriate treatment;

  • The patient suffered an injury; and

  • The patient's injury was caused by the health care provider's failure to provide appropriate treatment.

A medical expert is often necessary in order to address two key questions with respect to the plaintiff's claim, namely:

  • Did the health care provider meet the standard of care? To address this question, the medical expert will testify about the treatment that a competent doctor would have provided in a similar situation and give his or her opinion about whether the defendant met that standard of care or not. Since there are no absolute rules about the standard of care in a given situation, medical experts often rely on medical publications, medical board guidelines, and previous experience when providing his or her opinion.

  • Did the health care provider's failure to meet the standard of care cause the plaintiff's injuries? The medical expert will also testify about whether the health care provider's failure to meet the appropriate standard of care resulted in injuries to the patient. Since a patient's injuries can be caused by medical negligence, as well as factors that are out of the health care provider's control, the medical expert will explain how likely it is that the health care provider's actions or inactions were the cause of the patient's injuries.

Without adequate evidence to prove that the patient's injury was caused by the health care provider's actions or inaction, the judge will dismiss the case. For this reason, medical experts often play a big role in any medical malpractice lawsuit. Although a jury is not obligated to take the medical expert's opinion as truth, it is required to consider the medical expert's along with the rest of the evidence provided.

Given the importance of a medical expert to the success of a medical malpractice claim, it is important to find a medical expert who will testify on your behalf as early as possible.

The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are dedicated to helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain full and fair financial compensation for their injuries. As such, we will undergo a comprehensive factual investigation and legal analysis to develop the appropriate legal strategy. We have a network of medical experts with whom we consult regarding medical malpractice cases and on whom we rely for medical expert testimony to support our clients' claims.

If you have been the victim of medical negligence, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice lawsuit.

Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.



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