Medical malpractice claims are far more complicated than other types of injury and death cases. While every injury or death claim involves legal issues, medical malpractice claims involve complex medical issues as well. In Delaware, lawmakers have put various obstacles in the path of families looking to recover full compensation after an act of medical negligence. With strategic, intelligent attorneys on your side, you and your family can have every opportunity to overcome these challenges.
In Most Cases, You Can't Bring A Medical Malpractice Claim In Delaware Without An Expert Witness
Under Delaware law, every medical malpractice suit must contain an affidavit of merit from an expert witness. An affidavit of merit is not required in other types of personal injury claims. This expert witness must state that there are "reasonable grounds to believe that there has been health-care medical negligence." Further, in order to be considered an expert under Delaware law, an expert must be licensed to practice medicine, and have at least three years experience in the same medical field as the defendant doctor. Lastly, if the defendant doctor is board certified, the expert witness should also be board certified.
There are a few exceptions to the expert witness rule. If a medical negligence review panel finds that a medical professional committed negligence and this negligence led to injury or death, an affidavit from an expert witness is not necessary. There are also three types of medical negligence cases that do not need an affidavit of merit. They are:
- When a surgeon leaves a foreign object in the body after surgery
- An explosion or fire occurring in the course of treatment
- When a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong part of a person's body
All other types of medical malpractice cases require an expert's testimony. For these and other reasons, it is critical to work closely with knowledgeable legal counsel.
At Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, we have a legacy of success representing individuals who have been harmed by acts of medical malpractice. We have also represented families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of medical professionals. With offices in Wilmington, Georgetown and Middletown, we place a high priority on serving the needs of people throughout the state. Call 888-395-7576 to set up your free initial consultation.