What role do expert witnesses have in a medical malpractice case?

Expert witnesses are necessary in the vast majority of medical malpractice cases, for both the patient, or patient's family, bringing the case and the hospital, or health care provider, defending the case.

In fact, most cases require experts in different medical specialties, depending on the defendant health care provider's specialty. For example, in a case where a baby was brain damaged because the hospital's residents, interns or obstetricians failed to recognize fetal distress, typical expert specialties would include obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, labor and delivery nursing, neonatology, pediatric neurology, and others.

Practically speaking, due to the complexity of serious medical malpractice cases and the unlimited resources of the health care corporations and insurance companies, as well as the need for the patient to prove the standard of care, deviations from the standard of care, causation and damages, these cases often require multiple experts per medical specialty.