Aug 9, 2019 by Foresight

How Can a GP Expert Witness Add Significant Weight to a Court Case?

A General Practitioner is an important member of any community. As a qualified medical doctor, it is their duty to provide continuing care for people of all ages within their area. Whilst they may not share the same depth of knowledge that a specialist doctor has, the breadth of knowledge that a general practitioner possesses is vast and they are usually the first point of medical contact for a patient. A GP will be expected to see patients in the surgery, during home visits, or in alternative settings such as care homes.

Since their role is so central to society, their service is frequently called upon by solicitors in search of a GP expert witness. The appointment of a GP expert witness is often indispensible to a case since it can offer direction, uncover substantial evidence, and ultimately ensure fair trial and due justice. As providers of the most targeted medical expert witness network, we want to share more about the role of a GP expert witness.

Assessment and Evaluation by a GP Expert Witness

In their day-to-day work, a GP will be required to assess, diagnose, and treat patients of all ages and backgrounds. Their approach must be holistic, taking into account their patients’ physical, emotional, and social factors. In any case, they must always prioritise the patients’ best interests from their professional standing. The extensive clinical experience of a GP expert witness means that they are able to perform in-depth assessments of the necessary individuals in a case, as well as the evidence provided. For example in cases of medical negligence, adverse reactions to medication, misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis, the GP expert witness can examine the patient and the course of action taken by the medical professional at the centre of the case. In doing so, the GP expert witness may uncover crucial information which will add significant weight to the case.

Comprehensive GP Expert Report

The medical assessments and evidence evaluation process must be documented by the GP expert witness in a comprehensive report. The GP expert report will include the methods taken to assess the patients in addition to their conclusions. Any reputable expert witness will ensure that the report is detailed and accurate, without using complex medical jargon. In doing so, the solicitor can use the expert report directly to inform the route they may take in building their case. The report can also be used and referred to in court, adding further weight to the solicitor’s case.

GP Expert Opinion Accepted in Court

In a number of cases, the GP expert witness will be required to give their expert opinion in court. As a medical expert, their opinion is respected and recognised by the court, and will often be a deciding factor or contribute to the final judgement. It is important to note that the GP expert can only give an opinion on something which is strictly within their field of expertise; otherwise it may be challenged or even discarded.

It is clear that the appointment of a GP expert witness can not only add significant strength to as case, but prevent the miscarriage of justice where vulnerable individuals are often involved. If you require a GP expert witness for your case, or would like to learn more about the role of a GP expert witness, please get in touch with the team at Foresight Clinical Services.



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