Review and Preparation of Affidavit of Merit for Medical Negligence Claims
Affidavits of merit, also referred to as a certificate of merit, are affidavits signed by an expert in the medical practice area, attesting to the merit or merits of a malpractice claim. Differing state by state, affidavits of merit may be required in medical malpractice claims and other claims involving a physician’s assistants’ professional negligence.
Affidavits of Merit
Physician’s Assistant medical malpractice lawsuits are taxed with more complex procedural requirements than other types of personal injury cases. Depending on the state, either an attorney or an expert witness is required to complete the affidavit. An Affidavit of Merit will state that an expert in the same medical practice area as the defendant has reviewed the case and believes that the defendant has not breached the applicable medical standard of care under the circumstances. Some states may require the attorney to complete the affidavit of merit rather than the expert, in such case the attorney will affirm that they have consulted with an expert and received confirmation that the case has merit.
Law firms do not need to retain the same expert who provided the affidavit of merit as your expert at trial. Confirmation that a case has merit differs greatly from providing detailed testimony in a courtroom against a fellow physician’s assistant, which some P.A.s’ are not willing to do. Additionally, law firms may also seek to retain a more persuasive expert later in the process.
Filing an affidavit of merit, either with or after filing a lawsuit, accomplishes several objectives, including:
- Reducing the number of suits being filed
- Reducing the amount of funds dedicated to settling claims of uncertain value.
- Reducing both the types and amounts of professional liability insurance needed.
- Limiting the number and types of decisions made not out of professional judgment but rather fear of a potential lawsuit.
Because affidavits of merit require a physician’s assistant in the practice area to state under oath about a failure to meet a minimum standard of care, it is believed by the courts that frivolous claims will be reduced and or eliminated. Affidavits of merit also limit the extent of claims made to that which can reasonably be proven based on the facts and circumstances of a given case.
Stuart Reich Consulting is the Right Choice of a Physician’s Assistant Expert for Affidavits of Merit.
Stuart Reich consulting is a recognized Expert Witness within several specialized areas of expertise:
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Stuart Reich Consulting Expert Witness services offer the education, training, experience, and practical knowledge that can aid in understanding the multiple technical medical issues relevant to litigating the case.
An Affidavit of Merit a required component in the physician’s assistant medical malpractice litigation process. The Expert Witness’ Affidavit of Merit can be persuasive in the case litigation moving forward.
A Stuart Reich Expert Witness is knowledgeable and certified in their practice areas, has experienced communication skills and is a fair and objective medical professional. A Stuart Reich Affidavit of Merit does not advocate, but rather brings their own experienced opinion to bear on the technical medical issues and opinions.