Spine Surgery Expert Witnesses & the Benefits of Hiring One

One of the most delicate fields of surgery that exists today is likely the area of spinal surgery. This medical specialization can deal with everything from neck and back injuries to whiplash and spinal cord damage and disease.

To make matters more complicated, the spine itself can have a wide multitude of conditions and can require many different types of procedures, including thoracic or cervical spine surgery and spinal decompression. Dealing with these intricacies in a spinal surgery negligence case can become extremely complicated, and this is why it is important to have a specialist who can decipher what all of these different elements mean.

How does Spine Surgery work?

Spinal Cord InjuriesSpine surgery is derived primarily from two specific fields: orthopedics and neurosurgery. Neurosurgeons work on the nerves related to the spine, such as in the case of slipped discs which require decompression surgery. On the other hand, orthopedics deals more with the bone itself, such as cases where an operation needs to be performed on a patient with scoliosis.

Generally, spinal remedies begin with attempting to curb the ailment with minor pain medication, and can eventually escalate to spinal surgery if needed. Due to the invasive and delicate nature of the spinal procedures, they are usually not the first course of action. However, this path to improvement is not always taken in an appropriate manner, and that is why there are spinal surgery negligence cases.

With nearly 90% of specialized physicians expecting to receive at least one malpractice claim by the time they are 45, there is a high demand for spine surgery expert witnesses.

Spine surgery expert witnesses can provide much benefit to attorneys seeking to establish a well-rounded legal case.

How an Expert Assists your Case

Spine surgery expert witnesses are especially important because it is estimated that up to 81% of plaintiffs pursuing spine surgery negligence claims had related pre-conditions prior to their procedure. These experts can appropriately examine a patient’s medical history, which is essential for determining what likely may have caused the complication or injury.

An unfortunate outcome is not an indicator of negligence, and it is up to an expert to review the information and determine the relevance of the medical history to the claim being asserted.

It is estimated that about 70% of all negligence cases in this area have to do with surgeries, more than any other type of treatment. In fact, most negligence claims deal specifically with degenerative spine disease surgery. Unfortunately, all surgeries have a risk of complications. As such, it is essential that an independent medical expert is able to assess whether this complication is a regular and expected occurrence, or was due to an inadequate standard of care.
Spine surgery expert witnesses are instrumental in explaining the significance of certain conditions and the corresponding procedures to non-medical personnel. Since most people do not have this specialized knowledge, an expert witness in this field can also explain how the injury is expected to affect one’s day-to-day tasks.

As such, an experienced spinal surgery expert witness would also be extremely helpful in describing the long-term complications, and therefore the disability rating of the plaintiff.

Our spines are essential for our daily activities, including everything from sitting, to standing, to walking. Due to the reliance on this single part of our bodies, any complications arising from remedial spinal treatment can be extremely detrimental. The seriousness of a case involving spine surgery can not be overstated. As such, the potential for future losses can be quite high if you are not working with the right medical expert.

Since spine injuries frequently place people out of work, restrict their mobility to perform regular tasks, and can require significant rehabilitation costs, we recommend you contact our team today for a consultation.

Spine Surgeons

Spine Surgeon on a tablet

All of the aforementioned costs in a spine surgery negligence case are in addition to any initial health costs they may have already been incurred. This means that the potential for a reduction in the quality of life, as well as remedial costs and future potential losses for victims of spinal surgery negligence can be extremely high.

Determining liability and compensation required is a necessary part of any clinical negligence case, and while an attorney would not be able to accurately provide the cost and scope of these costs, a knowledgeable spinal surgery expert witness would certainly be proficient at this task.

Medical Expert Witnesses

Apart from providing specialized knowledge on the initial facts of the case, these witness experts can also be hired to provide a second opinion—something that can be very valuable in especially complex cases. In some instances, their professional opinion is mandated by the laws of the state to ensure that the malpractice claim being disputed has merit and should proceed.

Spine surgeons are responsible for getting to the root of the problem while also ensuring that they do not over-treat the condition (for example operating in cases where physiotherapy would suffice). In cases of medical malpractice in spinal surgeries, it takes a real expert to determine the cause of the problem and the appropriate course of action that should have been taken.