Medical experts, along with their reports, are major pieces of evidence in any serious personal injury case in Ontario.
The testimony of a Plaintiff, and that of a Defendant, will likely be self serving.
The Injured Accident Victim Plaintiff will take the stand and provide evidence that the accident was not their fault, and as a result of the accident; that they are seriously injured and can no longer lead a normal life.
The Defendant in a personal injury case will say the exact opposite. The accident was not their fault, and that the Plaintiff did not appear to be injured at all in the accident.
With testimony which is so diametrically opposed; how is a Judge or Jury supposed to decide who is telling the truth? Certainly the credibility and likeability of the parties comes in to play. But there is another major factor as well.
That’s where medical experts come enter the scene. These are often doctors, hired by the Plaintiff’s lawyer, or the Defendant’s lawyer to provide expert testimony or evidence in support of the case, one way of the other. The testimony of these experts, along with the evidence which they tender in to Court can be very persuasive. It’s often the difference between a successful or unsuccessful case. The battle of experts is very real, and it’s very important in a personal injury case.
Medico-legal experts in the context of personal injury cases have come under fire in recent months. A National Post story entitled “Hired Gun in a Lab Coat: How Medical Experts Help Car Insurers Fight Accident Claims” is a fantastic read which sheds some light on how the business of medico-legal experts plays out.