Aug 5, 2019 by Foresight

Why is Appointing an Independent Medical Expert Witness Necessary?

As providers of the UK’s most targeted network of medical expert witnesses, we see first-hand the demand for independent medical expert witnesses ranging from midwife and radiologist expert witnesses, to cardiologist and paediatrician expert witnesses, with specialisms within each medical discipline. What is the reason for this demand? Across Family, Civil and Criminal Law, solicitors are faced with complex and highly specialised cases that an independent medical expert witness can make sense of. These cases can range from medical malpractice to criminal defence and the involvement of the medical expert witness can be equally imperative. This week, we take a closer look at why it is necessary that a solicitor instructs an independent medical expert witness.

Objective and Focused Approach to Evidence and Medical Assessments

Unlike solicitors, each medical expert witness has vast experience in and a profound knowledge of their specialism. The skills they have acquired from years dedicated to their profession alongside their independent medical expert witness status mean they can provide solicitors with an objective and acutely focused approach to the given case. Just as a solicitor is an expert of Law, and their particular branch of practice, the instructed medical expert witness is an expert of their field. After being appointed, they can apply their expertise to the existing evidence, making sense of the medical complexities. The medical expert witness may then perform a series of relevant medical assessments. These assessments will often produce new and significant evidence which undiscovered would be hugely detrimental to the case, and undermine a client’s rights fair trial and justice.

A Comprehensive Medical Expert Report for Court

Upon completing the medical assessments, the independent medical expert witness is required to document their methods and conclusions in a detailed medical expert report. As their expert status allows, the report is written in a way which is entirely accessible to those without their level of expertise, without compromising on detail. The medical expert report will often act as a fundamental piece of evidence when a solicitor puts together their case. What’s more, the document can also be shared with the court so that everyone can make a fully informed decision. Therefore, in appointing an independent medical expert witness, a solicitor can further strengthen their case and ensure fair trial for their client.

An Independent Medical Expert Opinion

In addition to the assessments and report, a medical expert witness may be asked to give their medical opinion in court. As an independent body, and an expert in their field, their medical opinion is recognised and respected by the court and can therefore be used as further affirmation of their conclusions. It must be understood that the opinion of the expert witness can respond only to their medical expertise and in direct relation to the case at hand. If not, the opinion of the independent medical expert witness might be challenged or even dismissed.
To learn more about the medical expert witness types within Foresight’s network, have a browse of our dedicated page. To appoint a medical expert witness for your case, get in touch with our experienced case managers today.


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