Your personal injury case is scheduled for trial. However, what happens if your medical expert, who is supposed to come in and support your claim, is unavailable at the time your case is scheduled. What can you do in this situation?
What can You do to Keep Your Case Going Forward
The judge has assigned your case a trial date, and you have to get in touch with your medical expert. It does not matter whether it is a medical malpractice case, accident case, or even a wrongful death case, you will need a medical expert to come and testify on your behalf. If it turns out, he is unavailable when he is supposed to appear in court, what can you do to continue moving your case forward?
Taking a Video Deposition
There are a few avenues for you to take, and one of these is to take a video deposition of the doctor in order to preserve this doctor's testimony and use the video to show it to the jury at the time of trial. The defense will have an opportunity to question and cross-examine this doctor, when you are shooting this question and answer video at the doctor's office.
The defense can question the doctor as though they were engaging in a direct examination. The lawyers can ask the doctor exactly what was done and what his opinions and conclusions were. You can then take this video testimony or video deposition, bring it to court and show it to the jury. Likewise, the defense will be able to show the jury that particular part of the cross-examination that was done by them. It is almost the same as the doctor being there at trial and giving his testimony.
Have Your Case Adjourned
Another option you have is to try everything possible to get the case adjourned, so that it is postponed to a date when the expert is actually available. This could be tricky since you do not know what date your case will be adjourned to, and whether the expert will be available on that date as well. Secondly, the judge might not allow such an adjournment, especially if the defense is objecting to any delays.
Request the Judge to Take the Witness Out of Order
Another option would be to take the witness out of order. This means you ask the court to bring in the medical expert not in the slot that you typically expect the expert to be in, but at a time the expert is available. It might be after the plaintiff's lawyer has finished with all his other witnesses, and the defense is going to continue with their witnesses.
This means your doctor or medical expert will come in at the time when the defense has been given the time to run their witnesses through the process. If a witness is called out of order, the judge will inform the jury about it, and tell them this witness is coming out of turn. The judge will also add that the jury should give this witness the same weight and same credibility as any other witness, and the fact that he is appearing out of turn should not have any significance whatsoever.
You can also possibly obtain another expert and medical witness who has credibility in their own right.
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