What if My Doctor Will Not Help My Injury Case?

Sometimes a treating doctor or surgeon will not agree to testify in court, and in fact will not have anything to do with a patient’s injury case.

Clients of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd. ask what can they do when their own doctors do not want to be bothered.  In some cases a treating doctor will demand thousands of dollars to testify, attend a deposition, or even write a written report.

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Since the injured victim always has the burden of proof to show the nature and extent of the harms and losses, expert medical testimony is vital.

Herndon Virginia injury lawyer Doug Landau advises clients in these circumstances that there are other options.

  • While the U.S. Constitution forbids involuntary servitude, such that a doctor cannot be forced to give an opinion or testimony, physicians and other healthcare providers can be subpoenaed as fact witnesses — much like an eyewitness to a car crash or dog bite attack.
  • Hiring a paid expert witness is another way to obtain medical testimony in a case.  In order to keep the costs down of going this route, Landau counsels disabled clients that a reviewing physician, independent examiner, or other expert witness will be questioned in a deposition, but will not necessarily be retained for trial.
  • If the treating doctor, family physician, or surgeon refuses to participate in a trial, then Landau has over the years taken many videotaped depositions for later presentation to the jury.  While Landau prefers live testimony of the actual treating doctors, videotaped depositions, along with the appropriate visual aids and medical illustrations, have their place and purpose.
  • In major cases, the Abrams Landau trial team will retain a medical expert to evaluate and examine the patient, along with his or her medical records and films. That medical doctor can then testify at trial as to his or her findings, opinions, and explanations of the medical terminology.
  • Another solution is to have a non-examining doctor perform a medical records review of the films and records i.e., x-rays, MRI, CT scan, pet scan, etc. and then testify based upon that limited information.
  • Abrams Landau’s Herndon injury trial team has also used nurses, PhD’s, and other experts to explain medical conditions, anatomy, and the usual customary charges for medical treatment.

If you, or someone you care for, has been injured through no fault of their own, and there are questions about their doctors’ assistance in their case or claim, call or email Abrams Landau, Ltd. (703-796-9555).

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