Often, medical malpractice lawyers are questioned by individuals who have had a bad outcome from a surgery or other treatment, and are seeking a potential lawsuit against a physician or other healthcare provider. However, just because a patient experienced a bad outcome does not necessarily mean that the healthcare provider was negligent. Sometimes, it merely means that the end result was not as good as the patient anticipated.

Pennsylvania law requires that the parties in a lawsuit present expert testimony at trial to support the existence of negligence on the part of the defendant healthcare provider. The expert must be qualified in the same area of expertise as the individual being sued. For example, you can’t have an expert dermatologist appear for either the plaintiff or the defendant if the case involves a possible mistake by a neurosurgeon. Both parties will need a neurosurgeon expert to testify.

Initially, the plaintiff must have an expert who reviews the medical records and can state that there has been a breach of the standard of care, in other words “negligence,” on the part of the healthcare provider. In addition, the expert must state that the aforementioned breach was the cause of the damages that the plaintiff claims occurred.

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