Damages Expert – Orthopedic Surgeon
Texas Personal Injury Lawyers
The Expert Testimony of an Orthopedic Surgeon Can be Used to Convey the Severity of Your Injury
It may be essential to your chances of winning your case that you have a traumatic personal injury expert witness to testify on your behalf and validate the severity of your injury. It is just as essential, however, to make sure your attorney calls on exactly the right kind of expert. If the injury you sustained in your trucking accident involves any sort of reduced range of motion, affects your bones or joints, or involves any sort of arthritic condition, then you will have to have an orthopedic surgeon as your expert witness.
This area of medicine, also referred to as orthopedics, focuses on musculoskeletal conditions and treatments.
The attorneys with Our Law Office have relied on scores of orthopedic specialists as expert witnesses during or two decades in practice, and those experts have helped a great many of our clients obtain fair compensation.
What an Orthopedic Surgeon Does
Orthopedic surgeons treat a wide range of conditions through both surgical and non-surgical means, including degenerative diseases, congenital disorders, tumors, infections and diseases. They also, in many instances, perform spinal surgery and joint replacement. It is not only important that you have an orthopedic surgeon testify on your behalf, it is also vital that you have the appropriate type of orthopedic specialist. That is because the typical orthopedic surgeon focuses on one area of the body, such as the knee or hand.
How Orthopedic Surgeons Contribute to Personal Injury Cases
There are several ways in which orthopedic surgeons assist in personal injury litigation. They may evaluate a plaintiff’s claim when a physical examination is necessary, and then provide a written report, or provide unbiased, expert opinions that are used in settlement negotiations or in a trial. Orthopedic surgeons are also relied upon for testimony in depositions or in court in regard to matters concerning the appropriateness of past medical treatment or current care, current condition or standard of care issues. An orthopedic expert can also help a plaintiff and his or her attorney determine if a case is worth pursuing.
Orthopedic surgeons who serve as expert medical witnesses have a lot at stake; each time they testify in a deposition or get on the witness stand in front of a jury, their reputation is on the line. Therefore, they must advocate for the truth and only provide unbiased opinions supported with evidence. That evidence must be based on research found in peer-reviewed literature of the highest quality. The orthopedic surgeon’s expert opinion must always be straightforward, honest, clear and helpful, clearing up complex issues that a layman does not understand.
The Standards of Professionalism
For the orthopedic surgeon who serves as an expert medical witness in your case, again, his or her very reputation will be at stake that expert’s testimony must be in accordance with the merits of your case, scientifically correct and truthful.
Orthopedic expert witnesses are required to comply with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery’s (AAOS) Standards of Professionalism. Here are the standards, as found on the AAOS website:
An orthopedic expert witness shall not knowingly provide testimony that is false.
An orthopedic expert witness shall provide opinions and/or factual testimony in a fair and impartial manner.
An orthopedic expert witness shall evaluate the medical condition and care provided in light of generally accepted standards at the time, place and in the context of care delivered.
An orthopedic expert witness shall neither condemn performance that falls within generally accepted practice standards nor endorse or condone performance that falls outside these standards.
An orthopedic expert witness shall state how and why his or her opinion varies from generally accepted standards.
An orthopedic expert witness shall seek and review all pertinent medical records related to a particular patient prior to rendering an opinion on the medical or surgical management of the patient.
An orthopedic surgeon who provides oral or written medical testimony or expert medical opinions shall provide statements only about subject matters in which he or she has relevant clinical experience and specific orthopedic knowledge in the areas of medicine that are the subject of the proceeding.
An orthopedic expert witness shall provide evidence or testify only in matters in which he or she has relevant clinical experience and knowledge in the areas of medicine that are the subject of the proceeding.
An orthopedic expert witness shall be prepared to state the basis of the testimony presented and whether it is based on personal experience, specific clinical or scientific evidence.
An orthopedic expert witness shall have a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in any state or U.S. territory.
An orthopedic expert witness shall maintain a current certificate from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS), the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery, or the certifying body, if any, in the country in which the orthopedic surgeon took his or her training.
An orthopedic expert witness shall be engaged in the active practice of orthopedic surgery or demonstrate enough familiarity with present practices to warrant designation as an expert.
An orthopedic expert witness shall not misrepresent his or her credentials, qualifications, experience or background.
An orthopedic expert witness shall not agree to or accept an expert witness fee that is contingent upon the outcome of a case.
Compensation for an orthopedic expert witness shall be reasonable and commensurate with expertise and the time and effort necessary to evaluate and testify on the facts of the case.
The Other Side May Have its Own Expert, so You Must be Prepared
A good defense attorney will have his or her own expert witness, and that witness would very likely be an orthopedic surgeon as well who specializes in the same area of the body as does your witness. It is imperative that you, your attorney and your expert witness all prepare as if the defense will be as thoroughly prepared as you. Your attorney and witness need to anticipate the defense’s arguments in attempting to refute your witness’ testimony.
It is very likely that the jury in your case will hear conflicting testimony; for example, while your witness may state that your injury is severe enough that you will never be able to return to work, the defense’s expert could very well state that you are exaggerating the seriousness of your injury in order to get as big a payday as possible. It will then be up to the jury to decide which expert is more believable. As a result, your attorney will have to choose an expert who the jury will see as consistent and credible.
We only rely on orthopedic surgeons of the highest repute as medical witnesses; during our two decades of practice, our clients have benefited from the testimony of some of the most well-renowned orthopedic surgeons in Texas. If your case requires this sort of expertise, you can rest assured that we will only call in the best of the best. If you would like to learn more or speak with one of our attorneys for a confidential and free consultation, please do not hesitate to call Our Law Office.