What is an Expert Affidavit in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on April 22, 2019 in Medical Malpractice News
If you have been involved in a medical procedure or treatment that caused you to suffer an injury, you are probably considering the legal route. You may have heard that in order to seek compensation for damages you sustained such as additional medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you need to submit proof of medical malpractice.
One of the key elements of proving a medical malpractice is to obtain an expert affidavit. Our team at Lynch Law has put together important details of what you need to know about expert affidavits and why they are important to your case.
If you or a loved one is suffering from medical malpractice injuries, it is vital to contact a reputable New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer at Lynch Law for assistance. We can explain what you need to know about expert affidavits and guide your through the entire legal process.
What the Affidavit Does
All medical malpractice lawsuits in New Jersey require the support of an expert witness in the medical field, which is provided in the expert affidavit. The expert affidavit is a signed document explaining why there is a reasonable chance the medical professional in question did not operate within accepted medical standards when he or she provided you treatment. The expert witness who prepares the affidavit must be in the same field as the medical professional who caused your injury.
You must file this affidavit within 60 days after the other party files an answer to your lawsuit.
Why Is This Needed?
New Jersey requires an affidavit so the victim can show that there are sufficient grounds for a lawsuit. This requirement serves as an obstacle for plaintiffs who wish to file frivolous lawsuits.
The affidavit provides an explanation of the relevant medical standards the defending party should have originally followed in the procedure and an opinion that the defendant failed to adhere to these guidelines. This connects the doctor’s negligence to the injury. The affidavit may also disprove claims from the other side that the victim is partially at fault, which would help you avoid New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence rule, which would diminish a percentage of the awarded damages to the plaintiff.
Who is Qualified to Complete an Expert Affidavit?
Under New Jersey law, the expert witness who provides the affidavit must be licensed as a health care professional or physician in the U.S. and meet several other criteria, some of which are listed below. This professional must be:
- Current medical license in New Jersey
- One who spent the majority of his or her professional time in the last year in active clinical practice as a general practitioner with a practice that encompasses the medical condition referenced in the claim, or teaching students at an accredited medical school, if the person accused of medical malpractice is a general practitioner
- Credentialed to treat patients for the medical condition that is the basis for the lawsuit
- A specialist or subspecialist (recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association), in the same field as the doctor who engaged in malpractice; during the preceding year he or she must have devoted the majority of his or her professional time to active clinical practice or the instruction of students in an accredited medical school
The expert who completes the affidavit does not need to be the same one who testifies at trial. Sometimes it is better to have separate people for the affidavit and testimony.
Speak to a Qualified Lawyer about Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you or a loved one suffered from medical malpractice and you need an expert affidavit, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney for assistance. The attorneys at Lynch Law Firm can find an appropriate medical expert to provide testimony about the type of medical malpractice that occurred and how it is connected to your injuries.
Do not hesitate in contacting us for help with your medical malpractice claim. We offer a free case evaluation, and if you cannot travel to us, we can meet you at a convenient location.
Call us today at (800) 518-0508 to get started.