A Delaware County Vision Loss Lawyer Discusses Expert Testimony
At the trial of a case involving vision loss, you must present medical evidence of that loss. Your doctors will testify about the vision injuries, treatment, and diagnosis, the causal relationship between the accident and the eye injuries, the amount of pain the injuries caused, and the prognosis for the future. If surgery was performed, it will be addressed in great detail. Perhaps plastic models of the eye and surrounding areas will be used to make the testimony more interesting and understandable to the jury. If future treatment or surgery is required, the doctor may offer an opinion regarding its nature, duration, and expense.
The defense lawyer on cross-examination seeks to discredit the eye doctor and his opinions. For example, if the doctor treats a lot of plaintiffs, the lawyer will imply that her opinions are slanted. Or the lawyer may confront the doctor with medical journals that support conclusions different than those she reached. The cross-examination of any witness is limited only by the lawyer’s ingenuity.
It is difficult for a lawyer to completely discredit a doctor in a jury’s eyes. Juries often feel that since the doctor was educated in medicine and the lawyer in law, the doctor’s view of the injuries must prevail over the lawyer’s suggestions. Nevertheless, skillful cross-examination of the doctor can cast doubt on the testimony. Generally, that is the most that a defense lawyer can hope for. Similarly, when the insurance company’s medical expert testifies, the plaintiff’s lawyer is generally satisfied if any doubt has been cast on the doctor’s opinion. Any chinks in the doctor’s armor created during cross-examination become grist for the lawyer’s mill during closing argument.
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