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Experts | Medical experts must find a happy medium

Medical experts are almost always needed in clinical negligence litigation, but their role could change after Jackson, even in high-value litigation, says Jeanette Aspinall

2 July 2013

In clinical negligence cases, the specific duty owed by the physician to the patient is defined by the profession itself. A member of the profession is needed to explain to the court, the judge in particular in civil litigation and the panel in a GMC type hearing. The expert will be illustrating what the defending physician should have done or not done under the particular circumstances, and whether such conduct constituted negligence by lowering the standards of care of the profession. ?In clinical negligence litigation then, expert witness evidence is nearly always necessary.

Medical experts usually find serving as an expert witness to be intellectually stimulating, interesting, rewarding and financially beneficial (especially those who have retired or are near retiring or have made a name for themselves). However, potential expert witnesses should be aware of the increased legal scrutiny being applied to expert witness evidence in clinical negligence litigation. This is a...

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