In Determining When Your Medical Malpractice Case Has Merit, expert witness Barry E. Gustin, MD, MPH, FAAEM, and primary founder of the American College of Forensic Medicine, writes on strategy in the medical negligence case.
It has been said that a little knowledge can be dangerous. Nowhere is this more obvious than in medical negligence case analysis. The quality , credibility, and scope of the record analysis will only be as good as the reviewing individual(s). Bottom line: Choose reviewers wisely; pay appropriately. Typical costs for detailed initial case screening average $500 to $1000 depending on the size of medical records, complexity of the case, and the specialty of the reviewing physician.
Cases that are deemed provisionally meritorious should be sent for a second review by medical experts identified by the screening physicians, who are prepared to give oral testimony if called upon. Careful attention should be given to determining who the medical experts should be. Ideally, a physician consultant experienced in medical-legal matters should assist you in the identification of the appropriate medical specialists. This person can “talk shop” with the potential expert and be in a better position to decide whether any given medical expert is the right person for the case. By analogy, you, as an attorney, would be in a much better position than a layperson to recommend another reputable and successful attorney in a specific legal specialty area. Thus, it makes good sense to establish a relationship with a physician consultant experienced in medical-legal case analysis.