PATERSON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY PROBLEM: THE MERCURIAL EXPERT
A Paterson medical malpractice attorney helps people injured by medical negligence. To recover compensation for his client, a Paterson medical malpractice lawyer generally must retain an expert witness.
Under New Jersey law, a jury generally can’t award compensation to a medical malpractice victim just because the jurors believe the victim’s claim that the doctor messed up. Rather, the victim’s medical malpractice lawyer must present testimony from another doctor. That doctor must explain to the jury HOW the doctor made a mistake.
Afterward, the jury is entitled to agree with the expert or not.
There are cases where the negligence is so plain that a medical malpractice lawyer need not retain an expert witness. But those cases are few and far between.
Expert Changes Mind
But what is a medical malpractice attorney to do if his expert changes his mind before trial? First, the expert tells the Paterson medical malpractice attorney that what the accused doctor did constituted negligence. The lawyer then hires the expert for trial. As required, the expert writes a written report. In the report, the expert sets forth his conclusion.
However, at some point, the expert changes his mind. The court deadline to retain an expert has passed. What is the attorney to do?
The answer is, the medical malpractice lawyer must apply to the court. He must petition for an extension of time to hire a new expert.
Nonetheless, there is no guarantee that the judge will grant the extension. In fact, in a recent case, the trial judge denied such an application to hire a new expert. The victim claimed a doctor botched her knee replacement operation. But the trial judge ruled that she could not have her day in court. All because her original expert recanted.
Fortunately for this woman, an appeals court reversed the trial judge’s ruling. The victim hired a new expert. She will get a trial after all.
Accordingly, if you ever suffer medical malpractice, be careful to choose an experienced medical malpractice attorney. This will maximize the chances that the lawyer will select a stable, reliable expert. One that will help you to win your case.