Can my own treating doctor testify?

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona, you may be wondering whether your own treating doctor can testify as an expert witness in your case. The short answer is: it depends.

In Arizona, the rules of evidence govern whether a witness can testify as an expert, and if so, what qualifications they must have. Generally speaking, an expert witness is someone who has specialized knowledge, training, or experience in a particular field that is relevant to the case at hand. In a personal injury case, an expert witness might be called upon to testify about medical issues, accident reconstruction, or other technical matters that are beyond the knowledge of the average person.

While Arizona law does not explicitly prohibit a treating physician from testifying as an expert witness in a personal injury case, there are some limitations that you should be aware of. For one thing, a treating physician’s testimony may be subject to certain limitations or restrictions, depending on the circumstances of the case.

For example, if your treating physician is going to testify about issues related to your medical treatment, their testimony may be limited to the facts of your case that are within their personal knowledge. They may not be able to offer opinions about issues that are beyond their expertise or knowledge.

Additionally, if your treating physician has a financial interest in the outcome of your case, their testimony may be deemed less reliable or credible. This is because the law assumes that a person who stands to gain financially from the outcome of a case may have a bias or incentive to offer testimony that is favorable to their own interests.

If you are considering calling your treating physician as an expert witness in your personal injury case, it’s important to discuss the matter with your attorney. They can advise you on whether your physician’s testimony is likely to be helpful or detrimental to your case, and can help you understand any limitations or restrictions that may apply.

In some cases, it may be more advantageous to hire an independent medical expert to testify on your behalf, rather than relying on your treating physician. An independent expert may have more specialized knowledge or experience that is relevant to your case, and may be seen as more impartial and credible by the court.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to call your treating physician as an expert witness will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, and should be made in consultation with your attorney. By working with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney, you can ensure that your case is presented in the most effective and persuasive way possible, and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.