Personal Injury

Medical Providers as Expert Witnesses in Proving Your Injury Claim

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Tuesday February 3, 2015

You are heading home from work; driving through an intersection when all of a sudden, wham! A teenager who is attempting to take a selfie while driving broadsides you. At first you think you are okay. You check on the other driver, speak with law enforcement and begin to head home again. After you arrive at your house, you start to notice some discomfort in your lower back. Pretty soon, your mind can’t focus on anything else other than the shooting pain traveling from your hip all the way to the heel of your right foot.

You spend the next 7 ½ months visiting your doctor’s office and the physical therapist in an attempt to alleviate the sciatic pain you have on a daily basis. Physical therapy eventually turns into pain management injections, and the only thought on your mind is getting rid of the pain. Little do you realize the impact your medical providers have beyond the treatment of your injuries.

Not only do your doctors play an important role in your recovery after you have been injured in a car accident, but they are also an integral piece of proving your injury claim at trial.  Most people would rather not end up in litigation, and fortunately, most injury claims settle prior to trial. However, not all claims settle, and if you want to receive fair compensation for your injuries, you and your attorney must be prepared to go to court.

Nebraska evidentiary rules require expert testimony when proving up an injury claim. Without agreement from opposing counsel, expert medical testimony is necessary to establish damages. In order to recover for medical treatment received as a result of injuries sustained in an accident, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the injuries were caused or made worse by the accident; (2) the medical treatment received was necessary to treat the injuries which occurred as a result of the accident; and (3) the cost of the medical treatment received was reasonable.

In order to establish causation, necessity of treatment and reasonableness of charges, you will need a medical expert who is willing and able to state his or her opinion “within a reasonable degree of medical probability” for all of the above. In most motor vehicle injury cases, these experts will consist of your medical treatment providers.

Often other experts also come into play, such as accident reconstructionists, fire investigators, engineers, mechanical experts, etc., but medical expert testimony is always essential in an injury case.

Chandler | Conway

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