Expert witnesses are necessary for litigations involving an injury that developed due to a trauma, a burn or a botched procedure. An expert witness plastic surgeon, for example, takes the stand in court to provide expert testimony on a case where reconstructive surgery is involved. The courts rely on these expert testimonies to prove the validity of medical malpractice litigation in both a criminal or a civil proceeding or a personal injury case. An expert witness also helps identify the standards that have been breached or neglected to cause such an injury.
What Expert Witnesses DoExpert witnesses in plastic surgery usually work alongside the investigations done by insurance companies, the police, and the defendant’s and prosecution’s law firms. They conduct a review of the medical records in evidence, examine and evaluate the victims or clients, provide photographic evidence related to the case and create a report citing the standards of care in their field of medicine. As such, expert witness plastic surgeons are bound by the Code of Ethics of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Below are some of the ethical considerations to expert witnessing:
- An expert witness must be a duly licensed professional with a depth of knowledge on the medical issue under litigation.
- An expert witness must not provide biased testimony.
- Reflect prevailing and widely-accepted scientific standards by his peers in the field.
- Characterize and defend theories appropriately if it’s not widely-accepted among professionals.
- Always consider the prevailing standards of practice
- An expert witness cannot accept payment that is contingent on the outcome of the case.