When you’re defending yourself against medical malpractice allegations, you’ll need to be prepared to fight back on many fronts. As your case proceeds, you may come face to face with multiple experts presented by the plaintiff, which might leave you thinking that you need to settle your case for a high amount.
But even if the testimony anticipated to be presented by the plaintiff’s experts seems strong, there are legal strategies that you can deploy to try to minimize or even negate their impact. Let’s look at what you can do to protect your interests in that regard:
- Scrutinize the expert’s background: Just because someone purports to be an expert doesn’t mean that their testimony should be given full weight and consideration. But it’s going to be up to you to show why their testimony shouldn’t be fully credited. To do so, you’ll need to carefully analyze the expert’s background and experience to see if you can identify shortcomings that you can exploit to your advantage. After all, you may be able to significantly narrow the scope of the opinion that they’re qualified to render.
- Conduct a thorough deposition: Here, you’ll want to be direct in your questioning but also probing into the basis for the expert’s opinions. Be sure to ask about all papers, articles, books and studies that the expert is relying on in reaching their opinions; that way, you can follow up on that underlying information to identify issues that may be supportive of your position.
- Obtain concessions: You might be able to get the expert to agree to certain facts, which may then help support your defense. You may also get the expert to concede that their opinion will change if any of the underlying facts that they rely on are inaccurate or incorrect.
- Utilize your own experts: Once you know what the plaintiff’s experts are going to say, you can search out your own expert testimony that might be contradictory. Make sure that your experts are able to clearly articulate the reasoning for their opinions and why their opinions are more suitable for jurors to rely upon than those presented by the plaintiff’s experts.
- Ensure that your experts are likeable: This may seem a bit ridiculous, since jurors are supposed to assign weight to expert witness testimony based on its substance, but likability plays a very real role in jury trials. Therefore, you’ll want to secure experts who can present well, remain calm under pressure, and connect with the jurors by clearly explaining things in layman’s terms.
- Identify signs of bias: The plaintiff’s experts may be biased against you, your employer or the experts that you intend to use. Any of these issues can help you attack the credibility and reliability of the plaintiff’s witnesses, which will likely result in the jury giving those experts’ testimony less weight.
Be thorough in preparing your malpractice defense
Your finances and reputation are on the line when you’ve been accused of medical malpractice. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and let the plaintiff run the show in your case. Instead, you can diligently work to develop sound legal strategies that seek to protect your interests.
By working with an attorney who is experienced in defending medical professionals against malpractice claims, you can rest assured that you’re exploring every legal avenue available to you. That way, you maximize your chances of beating the plaintiff and protecting what you’ve worked hard to build.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about what you can do to defend yourself in these matters, please consider reaching out to a legal team that you think is right for you.