Why a Medical Expert Witness is Essential to a Court Case

Amy Nutt
December 2, 2008 — 1,019 views  

Whether the court case is civil or criminal in nature, both plaintiffs and defendants can benefit from the use of a medical expert witness. This is especially true in an era where forensic technology is growing by leaps and bounds, branching off into areas like ballistic, blood spatter analysis and DNA testing.

Another branch of forensics falls under the medical disciplines and can encompasses any group that provides a medicinal service to investigators or the population at large.

Just what can these experts offer in the realm of traditional jurisprudence?

Role of medical expert witness

Although most people believe coroners and medical examiners as the primary medical experts used in court trials, the fact is anyone who practices medicine in any capacity can be a medical expert witness. For instance, a chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon can attest to damages done to the spine or back during a personal injury lawsuit where a hurt plaintiff is suing for monetary compensation.

On the other hand, an expert may be able to prove that the injury claimed by a money seeking plaintiff is being over blow in an effort to obtain ill gained reparations.

Because a medical expert can make or break a case in this regard, their importance cannot be understated.

Present unbiased view of events

Most court trials involve two views of events that can be difficult to sort through and prove. Because the outcome can in some cases be literally be a matter of life and death, it pays to be able to separate fact from fiction.

Science itself is fairly irrefutable and with a few are notable exceptions is rarely inaccurate. This is why medical science can then be employed to prove or disprove claims on both sides of the fence.

Corroborate exonerating evidence

Medical expert witness can help people who have been wrongly accused by providing information via testimony that breaks down a scenario based on medical evidence. When jurors are given these tools, they are able to weigh various factors to arrive to a conclusion. When irrefutable evidence is presented by such experts, the job of the juror becomes a whole lot easier.

Strengthen the case for the prosecution

The same can be said for proving defendants guilt. Nine times out of ten, people who are criminally accountable for death or harm and injury to an individual will lie about the circumstances. A medical expert witness can dispute claims of innocence by producing information that calls their story into question.

The special role of a dental expert witness

A dental expert witness is a forensic professional whose title falls under the heading of Forensic Odontologist. These individuals are also called bite mark examiners. These specialists most often establish the identity of perpetrators via teeth impressions which can be left on the skin when a homicide victim is bitten. This bite can link a killer to the deceased. The benefit of this particular type of analysis speaks for itself.

A dental expert witness is utilized in situations where unidentified bodies have been located as well. In these cases, policemen generally have an idea of who the deceased individual may be and need this particular professional to confirm it.

This forensic professional will most often use a person's dental records and compare them with the teeth of the unidentified individual in question. This is important in situations where a murder defendant is claiming the person is simply missing and not dead.

As forensic technology continues to expand, the testimony and services of a medical expert witness will become a near standard in both civil and criminal court cases. This will lower chances of innocent people being falsely imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit and reduce the chances of the guilty walking away scot free.

For this reason, medical experts will forever change the landscape of the criminal justice system.

About the Author

Medical and Dental Malpractice Consultants provide malpractice medical expert witness services, dental expert witness services, case evaluations and expert reports. When looking for medical attorney services, consider JD.MD.

Amy Nutt