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The Daubert Standard in medical malpractice lawsuits

Being harmed by a medical professional could allow for the injured patient or their family to file a legal action. Texans who want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit may find themselves in need of expert testimony. After all, to succeed on a medical negligence claim, a victim must show that the doctor owed the patient a duty of care, establish the standard for that duty of care, evidence that the care given failed to live up to the applicable standard of care and that the failure caused the patient's injuries or death. An expert witness can help set the stage with regard to the applicable standard of care, and he or she may also help a plaintiff show a judge and jury why the care in question was inadequate.

However, in order for an expert to be allowed to testify at trial, a judge must be convinced that his or her testimony is based on scientifically valid methods and is pertinent to the facts at hand. To make this determination, judges in Texas turn to what is known as the Daubert Standard.

The Daubert Standard lays out certain factors to be considered when deciding whether to let an expert testify at trial. First, a court must look to see whether the theory or technique being utilized has been adequately tested in the medical field. Second, a judge will assess whether the technique has been peer reviewed or published.

Third, a court will analyze any errors that may accompany the technique. Fourth, it is important to assess any applicable standards that control the applicable method. Lastly, a court will look to see if the method or technique being testified about has obtained acceptance in the scientific community.

Litigation can be fraught with legal issues like this, which is why it may be in a medical malpractice victim's best interest to seek an advocate who can help give their claim a strong legal voice. Failing to properly address these legal issues can leave one susceptible to a failing claim.

Source: Legal Information Institute, "Daubert Standard," accessed on Dec. 26, 2016

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