Expert witness reform

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007 Dec;120(7):2095-2100. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000296049.42259.39.


The legal system depends on the medical expert for evidence. Doctors readily complain about frivolous cases that go to trial, yet a lawyer cannot bring a frivolous claim to trial without a physician expert witness stating that the claim is not frivolous. An insurance company cannot raise premiums without medical expert witnesses servicing the increasing litigation against the insured. Physicians must look to themselves as a major contributor to rising malpractice insurance costs. For without the physician expert witness, no medical malpractice lawsuit can take place. It is the expert physician, not the attorneys or insurance companies, who defines "meritless" and "frivolous" and who ultimately controls the courts' medical malpractice caseload.

MeSH terms

  • Expert Testimony / economics
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Expert Testimony / standards
  • Expert Testimony / trends*
  • Fees and Charges
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Liability / economics
  • Licensure, Medical / standards
  • Malpractice* / economics
  • Malpractice* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Malpractice* / trends
  • Motivation
  • Patient Care / economics
  • Physician's Role*
  • State Government
  • United States