Orthopaedic Expert Witness

Covers personal injury, medical negligence, criminal, and care proceedings

Orthopaedic expert witnesses provide considerable support to the Courts in personal injury, medical negligence, criminal, and care proceedings. The complexity of the human musculoskeletal system means that without expert evidence, it is difficult to build a strong legal argument.

Our orthopaedic expert witnesses are experienced medical practitioners who have accumulated years of in-depth knowledge on bones and joints and their associated structures that enable movement – ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. We provide clear, detailed reports and have considerable experience in appearing as a witness for both the Prosecution and Defence.

We are one of the busiest expert witness teams in England, Scotland, and Wales. In most circumstances, we can turn around a report in 14 days of assessing your client and the supporting document you have provided.

Below are the most frequent questions we are asked regarding orthopaedics and our team’s orthopaedic expertise.

What does orthopaedics involve?

Orthopaedic medicine treats the musculoskeletal system and the surrounding mechanics that make it function. Most people will see an orthopaedic specialist at some point in their lives. Although many people have heard of orthopaedic surgeons, a majority of an orthopaedic specialist’s work occurs outside the operating theatre.

Issues that are dealt with by orthopaedic specialists include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Torn meniscus
  • Bursitis
  • Hip fracture
  • Back and neck pain
  • Broken bones
  • Bone tumours
  • Joint reconstruction

Orthopaedic specialists’ expertise covers a wide range of situations – from treating trauma resulting from an RTA to congenital and degenerative conditions of the musculoskeletal system.

What are common procedures associated with orthopaedics?

Due to the breadth of issues treated by orthopaedic surgeons and specialists, there are many procedures and treatments used to help patients, including:

  • joint arthroscopy – used most commonly to investigate a patient’s knee, a thin telescope with a light is used to examine joint problems. It can spot signs of arthritis and highlight cartilage or ligament damage.
  • repairing bone fractures – the type of work most commonly associated with orthopaedics is using metal screws, pins, rods, or plates to hold the bone in place.
  • arthroplasty – the surgeon will replace entire joints following damage due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The most common examples of this procedure are knee and hip replacements.
  • general improvements on impaired muscles or tendons – where repairs are required due to trauma-related injuries or damage caused by progressive deterioration of the tissue
  • corrective surgery – for example, patella (knee-cap) or shoulder realignment. These procedures are often carried out on babies and children as leaving the issue untreated could lead to further complications later in life.

Why engage an orthopaedic expert witness?

Orthopaedic expert witnesses and report writers focus on the finest of details of a particular incident. Having this type of knowledge can make a significant difference when it comes to building a clear and robust prosecution, claim, or defence. For example

  • In care proceedings involving suspected child abuse, it is not always clear if injuries such as fractures have been caused by the parent or through an accident completely unrelated to the parent’s actions. An orthopaedic expert witness has the skills and experience to study the child’s medical records and history, interview hospital staff, and establish the likelihood that the fracture or damage to ligaments or tendons was caused by parental abuse.
  • Orthopaedic medical negligence claims are common. Situations such as misdiagnosing fractures or ligament damage, damage to nerves during surgery, and mistakes made in common procedures such as knee and hip replacements can result in excruciating pain and suffering for the patient. Our orthopaedic experts will examine the circumstances which caused the delay or mistake and set out in clear, concise terms how this would have contributed to the Claimant’s suffering and ongoing complications.
  • Criminal matters often involve understanding the exact cause of an injury. In cases involving assault or grievous bodily harm, there may be questions concerning whether fractures were caused directly by the Defendant’s actions or through the alleged victim using force themselves or falling later due to excessive drink or drugs. A person with an in-depth understanding of how the musculoskeletal system reacts to trauma caused by blows, shoves, or contact with weapons such as knives and guns can assist with pinpointing exactly how and when orthopaedic injuries occurred.

Our orthopaedic specialists only concerned with the minutiae of a matter; a core part of their role is to translate often highly complex technical and disconnected medical details in a way that is easily digestible when presented in Court.

Instructing our services and costs

If you would like to find out more about how our orthopaedic experts can assist in your legal matter, please call us on 01865 587865, email office@expertcourtreports.co.uk, or request a call by completing our online form. We will arrange a time for you to speak to our orthopaedic expert who will listen to the details of the case and advise the best way forward.

Should you choose to engage our services, our orthopaedic expert will need as much information as possible on the case, including, but not limited to:

  • Why the report is needed.
  • The type of case (e.g. personal injury, criminal injury).
  • The facts of the case and particulars of the claim.
  • The current status of the patient.
  • Witness statements.
  • Medical notes (primary and hospital – where relevant).
  • Any relevant dates and timescales the expert should be aware of (e.g. court dates)
  • Costs.

If any other relevant information is available, this should also be provided (e.g. maps, photos, diagrams, correspondence, Court Orders).

Where necessary and appropriate, we can arrange for our orthopaedic expert to meet with the client to undertake a clinical examination.

The costs of the orthopaedic expert report will be explained in full at the outset and will be based on the time needed to undertake the assessment process and draft the report. If required, our orthopaedic expert witness will attend the Court hearing to provide evidence and answer any questions necessary.

Looking for an orthopaedic expert witness?

Please call us on 01865 587865, email office@expertcourtreports.co.uk, or request a call by completing our online form to find out more about our orthopaedic expert witnesses and reports by clicking the link below.

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