Connecting Lawyers with Expert Witnesses

Find your expert

Accident Prevention & Safety
Accident Reconstruction
Accounting - General
Accounting - Forensic
Accounting - General
Agricultural/Crop Science
Alcohol Abuse
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Amusement/Water Parks
Animals
Animation/Graphics
Apparel & Textile Industry
Appraisal & Valuation
Arbitration & Mediation
Architecture
Asset Tracing
Audio/Visual (incl Photography)
Automobiles
Aviation Valuation
Aviation/Airports/Airlines
Banking
Bankruptcy
Biology/Biomechanics/Biomedical
Building Codes
Building Contractor Liability
Business - General
Business - Valuation
Business - Business & Corporate
Business - Business Interruption
Business - Business Law
Business - Financial & Marketing
Business - Valuation
Call Centers
Cannabis
Casino & Gaming Industry
Chemistry
Child Abuse
Child Custody
Child Safety
Commercial motor vehicles
Communications
Computers/Cell Phone/Information Technology
Computers/Cell Phones/Information Technology
Concrete/Cement
Construction - General
Construction - Contractor's Licensing
Construction - Damages
Construction - Defects
Construction - General
Construction - Lending
Construction - Site
Consumer Products
Correctional Healthcare
Cosmetology
Credit Damage/Credit Reports
Criminal Law
Criminalistics/Criminology/Criminal Justice
Cruise Lines & Ships
Cryptocurrency
Cybersecurity
Demolition
Dental/Dentistry - General
Dental/Dentistry - General
Dental/Dentistry - Oral Surgery
Dermatology
Discrimination
Distribution/Logistics
Document Examination/Handwriting Analysis
Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse
Domestic Violence/Spousal Abuse
Drones/Surveillance Technology
Eating Disorders
Economic Analysis
Education & Schools
Electrical
Electronic Discovery
Electronics
Elevator & Escalator
Emergency Communications/911
Employment & Vocational
Engineering - General
Engineering - Agricultural
Engineering - Chemical
Engineering - Civil
Engineering - Combustion
Engineering - Design
Engineering - Electrical
Engineering - Electromagnetic
Engineering - Environmental
Engineering - Facility
Engineering - Forensic
Engineering - General
Engineering - Geotechnical
Engineering - Hydraulic
Engineering - Industrial
Engineering - Marine
Engineering - Materials
Engineering - Mechanical
Engineering - Petroleum
Engineering - Professional
Accident Prevention & Safety
Accident Reconstruction
Accounting - General
Accounting - Forensic
Accounting - General
Agricultural/Crop Science
Alcohol Abuse
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Amusement/Water Parks
Animals
Animation/Graphics
Apparel & Textile Industry
Appraisal & Valuation
Arbitration & Mediation
Architecture
Asset Tracing
Audio/Visual (incl Photography)
Automobiles
Aviation Valuation
Aviation/Airports/Airlines
Banking
Bankruptcy
Biology/Biomechanics/Biomedical
Building Codes
Building Contractor Liability
Business - General
Business - Valuation
Business - Business & Corporate
Business - Business Interruption
Business - Business Law
Business - Financial & Marketing
Business - Valuation
Call Centers
Cannabis
Casino & Gaming Industry
Chemistry
Child Abuse
Child Custody
Child Safety
Commercial motor vehicles
Communications
Computers/Cell Phone/Information Technology
Computers/Cell Phones/Information Technology
Concrete/Cement
Construction - General
Construction - Contractor's Licensing
Construction - Damages
Construction - Defects
Construction - General
Construction - Lending
Construction - Site
Consumer Products
Correctional Healthcare
Cosmetology
Credit Damage/Credit Reports
Criminal Law
Criminalistics/Criminology/Criminal Justice
Cruise Lines & Ships
Cryptocurrency
Cybersecurity
Demolition
Dental/Dentistry - General
Dental/Dentistry - General
Dental/Dentistry - Oral Surgery
Dermatology
Discrimination
Distribution/Logistics
Document Examination/Handwriting Analysis
Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse
Domestic Violence/Spousal Abuse
Drones/Surveillance Technology
Eating Disorders
Economic Analysis
Education & Schools
Electrical
Electronic Discovery
Electronics
Elevator & Escalator
Emergency Communications/911
Employment & Vocational
Engineering - General
Engineering - Agricultural
Engineering - Chemical
Engineering - Civil
Engineering - Combustion
Engineering - Design
Engineering - Electrical
Engineering - Electromagnetic
Engineering - Environmental
Engineering - Facility
Engineering - Forensic
Engineering - General
Engineering - Geotechnical
Engineering - Hydraulic
Engineering - Industrial
Engineering - Marine
Engineering - Materials
Engineering - Mechanical
Engineering - Petroleum
Engineering - Professional
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.

Burton Bentley II, M.D., FAAEM

CEO, Elite Medical Experts

www.EliteMedicalExperts.com

In medical negligence litigation, attorneys on both sides of the aisle grapple with a pivotal question: What makes a case "strong"? While a case's strength ultimately hinges on how well the elements of negligence withstand the scrutiny of litigation, case strength is not just about winning --- it's about maximizing the odds of success while minimizing risk and cost. Consequently, the concept of case strength is typically appraised through a qualitative lens, shaped by the intuition of counsel when navigating the intersection of legal theory with the unpredictability of human judgment and the reality of case economics. The introduction of a Case Strength Score marks a significant shift towards a more structured and analytical approach to evaluating case strength. By quantifying the abstract trifecta of case theory, net economics, and jury appeal, the CSS provides an innovative metric for critically assessing the true strength --- or weakness --- of a case. 

At the heart of case strength assessment lies the negligence theory. A solid alignment of duty, breach, harm, and causation either propels a plaintiff towards victory or shifts the balance in favor of the defense. This foundational aspect demands a rigorous, objective exploration right from the start, involving a detailed review of medical records and expert consultation. The expert's confidence in their findings, and their willingness to advocate for the case theory, often serves as a preliminary gauge of case strength. A candid exploration of potential weaknesses, particularly through the lens of contrary opinions, is invaluable in revealing the case's vulnerabilities and informing strategic decisions.

Economic considerations form the second pillar of case strength. Plaintiffs focus on the net return - the anticipated recovery minus the costs of litigation. For the defense, the emphasis is on mitigating potential financial liabilities. Estimating these economic outcomes requires a thorough analysis of previous case outcomes, settlements, and verdicts, providing a framework for realistic expectation setting. Moreover, controlling litigation expenses, especially those related to expert witnesses, is crucial, particularly in cases where the expected return or risk does not justify high costs.

Jury appeal, the third determinant of case strength, encompasses the case's ability to resonate with the trier of fact. This tenet, which is the most subjective of the three, looks beyond core facts to consider the intangibles of case clarity, intuitiveness, and audience empathy. An attorney's skill in distilling complex medical facts into a compelling, understandable narrative can significantly enhance a case's appeal. The combination of simplicity with other subjective factors such as empathy, likeability, and a sense of justice, can significantly amplify a case's resonance with the jury.

Case Strength Score (CSS): A Quantitative Assessment

Case Strength Scores are viewed from competing perspectives. For plaintiffs, the calculus of strength is straightforward: a high probability of success at settlement or trial, yielding a significant net return. For defense, strength is synonymous with the likelihood of a favorable verdict or settlement, coupled with minimal financial and reputational risk. However, beyond the realms of case theory and economics lies the jury’s unpredictability, which can make or break even the most seemingly airtight case. As a result, when assessing case strength, case theory, net economics, and jury appeal serve as both independent and interdependent factors. Independently, and single factor can be so compelling as to make a case overwhelmingly strong in its own right. Yet, their interdependence is most evident when considered together, offering a holistic view of a case's prospects. This interrelated understanding of case strength can be conceptualized through a Case Strength Score (CSS), a subjective scale from 1 to 30 that offers a snapshot of a case's overall potential. While not scientifically validated, this heuristic approach provides a practical tool for evaluating the viability and strategic positioning for any personal injury case, including medical malpractice.

The derivation of a Case Strength Score begins by assigning a subjective weighting from 1 to 10 for each of the three key dimensions—case theory, jury appeal, and net economics:

The composite score, which ranges from 0 to 30 points, reflects the overall strength of a case:

CSS 24-30: Strong plaintiff position; maximal defense risk

CSS 21-23: Warrants plaintiff exploration; defense at moderate risk

CSS 17-20: Defense position favored; Plaintiff may cautiously explore

CSS ≤ 16: Optimal defense case; critically flawed plaintiff case

A CSS of 30 identifies an ideal plaintiff case --- and maximal risk for defense --- due to a strong foundation in negligence, high jury appeal, and favorable net economics. Viewed from another perspective, a CSS of greater than 24 portends a strong plaintiff because each section had a minimum score of at least an eight. Conversely, a score of 20 or less signals critical weakness for the plaintiff’s position that warrants reconsideration of the case's viability.

Practical Application of the CSS in Legal Strategy

The CSS is not just a theoretical construct; it has practical implications for legal strategy. By objectively evaluating a case’s strengths and weaknesses across these dimensions, attorneys can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with litigation, negotiate a settlement, or adjust their litigation strategy to bolster weak areas. Moreover, the CSS can aid in resource allocation, guiding attorneys on where to invest in expert testimony, evidence gathering, or narrative building to enhance the overall strength of their case. It also serves as a negotiation tool, providing a quantitative basis for evaluating settlement offers against the potential outcome of a trial.

Conclusion

Assessing the strength of a medical negligence claim requires a comprehensive approach that extends beyond the traditional analysis of negligence elements. By incorporating considerations of jury appeal and net economics into the evaluation process, legal practitioners can gain a more complete understanding of case viability. The Case Strength Score (CSS) provides a quantifiable approach to assessing case viability, managing risk, and ultimately enhancing the chance of success in the courtroom.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.