January 14, 2016
Pursuing favorable lawsuits is the goal of any attorney that works in the medical malpractice arena, and over the past ten years we have seen many changes in the legal industry that force an attorney to be diligent and cautious when deciding which cases they will invest the time and money needed to be successful, especially in states with caps on punitive damages.
It is no longer prudent to have just any type of medical expert review your case, or sign the Certificate of Merit or the Affidavit of Merit. Many states require that:
- The expert witness have the same board-certification of the defendant.
- The expert must actively perform the procedure in question, in order to qualify as an expert witness.
- The expert must be actively practicing a certain time period leading up to the care in question.
Many cases are reaching trial because the attorneys representing insurance companies push the plaintiff attorneys to the edge of expenses, before even attempting to settle a case. Therefore, the expert witness who signs the COM or AOM must be ready to support their opinion all the way to trial. Additionally, our jury system has been heavily influenced to believe that there will be no more doctors to care for us if we continue to sue them, no matter how egregious the care, so the expert witness you present in court must be credible and convincing.
For these reasons it is essential that every effort be made to prevent the pursuit of frivolous lawsuits. It is our goal to help attorneys identify the questionable cases, through proper investigation of the merits of a case, so you do not pursue a matter that has little to no chance to be successful. Even in the best of hands, good cases are discarded by conservative juries. So, if the standards of care have not been clearly breached, the risk of spending the time and resources to chase a problematic file can be prevented by the proper work-up by an appropriately qualified professional, in the specialty of concern. The expert will thoroughly analyze the case and render an opinion that will help determine the specific strengths and weaknesses of a case, without the desire to lead an attorney down a “rose-colored” path, for the sake of billable hours.
This is why it is imperative that an attorney have access to a service that can meet all the requirements necessary for effectively investigating and recommending pursuit of a malpractice case that has the merits, and damages, for a successful outcome.
Although there is never a guarantee on how the jury will react to your case, it is a guarantee that if you do not perform the appropriate due diligence, or if your expert is not properly qualified, you will be spending time and money without a true chance of recovery. Save time and money with expert analysis before you find yourself a part of a frivolous lawsuit.