Few cases of medical malpractice are as heartbreaking as cases of pediatric malpractice. Children should be protected as much as possible, especially by the physicians caring for them when they are at their most vulnerable and are unable to care for themselves. However, many physicians are negligent or careless, leaving children with preventable injuries or illnesses that cause severe and sometimes life-long or even fatal consequences.
If your child has been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s important that you hold the physician responsible accountable for his or her actions. You can do this with the help of both an attorney and an expert witness.
Examples of Pediatric Malpractice
A doctor always owes what is called a duty of care to his or her patients. This means that the doctor must adhere to a reasonable standard of care when practicing medicine. When a doctor fails to do so, it is considered malpractice.
While there is no defined set of actions that constitute pediatric malpractice since any type of negligence while caring for a patient can be considered malpractice, there are several examples of what it may look like. Some of the most common ways that a physician can be negligent in their patient’s care include but are not limited to:
- Failure to order appropriate tests considering the child’s symptoms and/or medical history
- Failure to accurately read test results and/or failure to accurately diagnose a child’s medical condition
- Failure to accurately prescribe the correct medication or amount of medication for a child (e.g. accidentally overdosing a child)
- Failure to properly perform surgery on a child (e.g. operating on the wrong part of the body)
- Failure to maintain patient safety during surgery (e.g. allowing a surgical instrument to be left inside the child’s body once the surgery is complete)
Although no one should be a victim of medical malpractice, especially never-events that are completely preventable, the situation can be compounded when the victim is a child. When a child is harmed due to the negligence or carelessness of a physician, it becomes even more critical to ensure that justice is done.
Working With an Attorney
One of the first steps you should take after your child is harmed by pediatric malpractice is to consult with an experienced injury attorney. Most people stop there, however, by also contacting a medical expert witness, you can add more credibility to your case and increase the chances that your case will be seen favorably by the judge and jury.
What Is a Medical Expert Witness?
An expert witness is someone who is considered experienced or qualified in their field of expertise. They have specialized knowledge, credentials, or proficiency in a field that is relevant to the case. In the case of medical malpractice, expert witnesses are most often doctors. An expert witness can be any type of doctor, but in the case of pediatric malpractice, it is most valuable to secure the testimony of a physician that has worked extensively with children in their own career.
Typically, an expert witness will provide unbiased facts, interpretation of evidence, and other information that can be used to help juries better understand the matter at hand. Good expert witnesses will break down complex information and medical jargon into terms that can be understood by the average person, helping juries to relate better with the facts of the case.
How Medical Expert Witnesses Are Used In Court
Many law firms that represent victims of medical malpractice will hire a medical expert witness to help make it clear to members of the jury what happened to the victim and how the victim suffered as a result of the attending physician’s negligence. However, the other side may also bring in an expert witness that may be able to argue that the attending physician’s actions were not negligent or careless and the injury or illness suffered by the victim was purely a result of circumstance.
When to Contact a Pediatric Expert Witness
If your child was harmed as a result of pediatric malpractice, it’s in your family’s best interest to consult with an expert witness right away, even from the very start of your case. Dr. Edward Mallory has over 20 years of experience — call now for an appointment to discuss your case in detail at (813) 997-1241.