Medical Consultant versus Expert Witness

If you are a healthcare professional interested in doing medicolegal work, you may be wondering what kind of roles you can assume in a case.  This blog post will give you the basics.

Put simply, you must decide whether you want to be involved behind the scenes or be willing to testify.

Being behind the scenes as a consultant, you will evaluate the facts of the case through the pertinent medical records and relevant literature.  You will give the attorney  client your opinions, informing his or her next step.  You may be asked to write a report of your findings, but that report will not be submitted to the court.  You will not give your opinion under oath during deposition and trial.

Being a consultant is an attractive option to many, including a great number of nurses who offer medical record summaries to attorneys, but when testimony under oath is needed, so is a testifying expert witness.

The testifying expert witness will do all that the consultant will do, but his or her written report will be submitted to the court and, if necessary, he or she will give testimony during deposition or trial.

The testifying expert witness’s increased involvement means added time commitment and exposure to the stress of testimony, but the rewards of being the difference between success and failure during trial can be yours.

Experts Clearinghouse’s clients typically prefer to have medical professionals who testify as well, most likely because all roles are met by a single person.  Time and resources are saved.

Let us know if you would like to be involved.

Thank you, and keep pushing,

Robert Leonard Pham