Why do you need an expert witness?
Have you been hurt or injured – Life’s not always fair and often, other people have their own agendas – where does that leave you?
You will need independent legal advice along with an expert opinion upon which your legal counsel will depend.
MVA – Car, Motorcycle or Bicycle Accident
Trip and fall or work related accident
Whiplash type injury
Do you need a lawyer in a dental negligence or personal injury?
You do need a lawyer, but they need more information to decide if you have a case, and if you do, what injuries there are, what their costs are and the likely success of fighting the case for you.
Your lawyer is an expert in the law, but obviously not so in dentistry too, so they will need an expert to aid them in this area. This is where the Dental Expert Witness’ role becomes invaluable, without him or her, your lawyer will not be aware of the full extent of your injury.
The Dental Expert Witness’ opinion is relied upon by the lawyer and possibly court, in order to assist the client’s legal counsel, opposing counsel and potentially the court to make a ruling.
Information provided by a Dental expert witness (DEW) supplied must be impartial, accurate, and based on fact and be seen not to have a hidden agenda or ulterior motive. It can have a significantly beneficial effect on a case.
One problem is that here in Canada, expert witnesses in dentistry are not freely used or available as in other countries and therefore not called upon.
Therefore it is likely that thousands of injured parties do not get fair compensation because their legal counsel simply don’t realize that this resource is available and can be used to their client’s benefit.
With honesty and a good command of the facts an expert witness can turn a case and potentially increase the settlement value to reflect what is fair and just.
In dentistry that opinion may be about a dental or oral injury, dental work or a service that has failed, or an opinion following a car or work site accident.
Jaw and Jaw joint injuries are common yet regularly missed and this results in compromised medical and legal determination. Cause and effect is of course, crucial information.
The Expert’s opinion can relate to complex issues too, such as jaw joint problems, (TemporoMandibular joint Disorders – TMD) which often result from dental treatment itself and from accidents.
Dental Sleep Medicine issues in dentistry (relating to Snoring and/or Obstructive Sleep Apnea) are becoming a potential ‘legal mine-field’ as, with little understanding, some providing the service are neither aware of the expectations of care or of the potentially serious consequences of not adhering to these standards.
A Dental Expert Witness’ opinion can provide evidence in the defense of actions taken to provide professional care too. The Dental Expert Witness’ opinion should help with the overall understanding of the facts of the matter.
An impartial expert witness in dentistry should be available to both provide testimony when retained by the plaintiff’s counsel or the defendant’s counsel; for the benefit of the court. This cannot be at the same time.
It must always be honest (to the facts) and impartial too. This usually takes the form of a detailed report answering certain questions or issues that have already or may arise in the case and if necessary may require support in the courtroom.
Expert Witness testimony can relate to alleged negligence or malpractice through errors or omissions in professional dental care when compensation, recompense or restitution is sought.
Stephen Bray DDS 2019