The Daubert Standard Protects Personal Injury Lawsuit Trials from Unscientific Medical Research

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In preparing to file a personal injury lawsuit, you probably did much research on the best personal injury lawyers in Mobile. You probably did not spend much time reading court decisions in personal injury cases cover to cover. If you had, you probably would have found them impenetrable, especially if they included long quotes from reports by medical expert witnesses. 

Imagine if you were a judge tasked with deciding whether what the medical experts said was true or relevant to the case; it is an unenviable task, to say the least. In fact, several decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have established a set of guidelines, known as the Daubert standard, for judges to follow in deciding which expert witness testimony to allow in car accident injury lawsuits and other cases where courts rely on the expert testimony of doctors and other professional scientists to help them arrive at a ruling.

 

The Daubert Standard and Car Accident Lawsuits

One of the worst things about living with a serious injury is the unsolicited advice you receive about how your chronic pain would magically vanish if you would eat more kale and less citrus, or whatever the latest fad says. 

You have probably developed a practiced, polite answer to people who recommend these so-called medical breakthroughs to you in conversation, and when you receive them in the form of email forwards, you probably click “delete.” “Medical research” that comes from clickbait articles about a “gut doctor” scolding you about your taste in vegetables does not belong in court. Even the professionally conducted and published medical research varies widely in quality, and not all of it is good enough to be admissible as evidence in a personal injury case.

The Daubert standard, first outlined in a U.S. Supreme Court decision where a plaintiff alleged that a prenatal vitamin supplement had caused a child’s congenital disabilities (the Supreme Court sided with the defendant), sets the following five requirements for research used in legal cases. When a medical expert cites a scientific study, it must meet the following criteria:

  • The hypothesis must be testable, and the experiment must be replicable
  • The study must be published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • The authors must identify and state the error rate of the results
  • Most of the variables in the experiment must be controlled
  • The study must be widely accepted by medical professionals

Additionally, medical experts in personal injury cases should only cite clinical trials using human subjects. Imagine if the defendant’s witness cited a study saying that nine out of 10 crabs who lost a leg in an accident later regenerated the lost leg.

 

Contact Stevenson Klotz About Car Accident Cases

You need a Mobile car accident lawyer who adheres to the highest standards in gathering evidence and choosing expert witnesses.  Contact Stevenson Klotz in Mobile, Alabama, to discuss your case and to see whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.

(850) 444-0000

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