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.
Two objective case analyses are touted by many seasoned medical malpractice litigators as the judicious approach to working up a potential case. When the two reviews are in concordance, you will be on solid footing and well on your way to maximizing your chances for a successful outcome. If there is a discrepancy between the two reviews, then it will be easier for you to understand the weaknesses of your case. The knowledge you attain in this way will help you to decide whether you want to drop, or stay with the case. The costs for the in-depth medical expert record review and analysis should be in the neighborhood of $1000 to $2000 per medical expert; again depending on the volume of records, complexity of the case, and the specialty of the medical expert doing the record review.
Case review is both a science and an art. The physician reviewer must be adroit at dissecting out the critical facts and determining whether or not the appropriate standards of practice were breached. Moreover, the reviewer must decide whether issues of causation clearly reinforce any alleged departures from the standard of care. Attention must also be given to damages. The issues can be quite complex. Are the injuries or disabilities due to malpractice or are they a maloccurrence, an unfortunate bad outcome that could not have been prevented?