Finding an Infectious Disease Expert Witness

Finding an Infectious Disease Expert Witness

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Infectious disease expert witnesses can bring valuable insight to medical malpractice and public health litigation. Here are some tips for finding and working with infectious disease expert witnesses effectively.

What Is an Infectious Disease Expert Witness?

An infectious disease expert witness is a highly trained medical professional with specialized knowledge and experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. They provide expert opinions, analysis, and testimony in cases involving viruses, postsurgical infections, epidemiology, the spread of diseases, and infection control measures.

What Types of Cases Do Infectious Disease Expert Witnesses Support?

Infectious disease expert witnesses often bring their experience to medical malpractice lawsuits involving misdiagnosis or improper treatment of infectious diseases. Public health issues also benefit from infectious disease expert witnesses, particularly in litigation related to outbreaks, vaccination policies, and quarantine measures.

Areas an Infectious Disease Expert Witness Can Opine On

Here are some areas where these expert witnesses can provide specialized insight:

  • Microbiology and Pathogenesis: Understanding the biology of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, as well as their modes of transmission, pathogenesis (how they cause disease), and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Epidemiology: Knowledge of the spread of infectious diseases within populations, including factors that influence transmission rates, disease surveillance methods, outbreak investigation techniques, and statistical analysis of disease data.
  • Clinical Diagnosis and Management: Expertise in diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, including recognizing clinical manifestations, interpreting laboratory tests (such as blood cultures, molecular tests, serological assays), and prescribing appropriate antimicrobial therapies.
  • Infection Prevention and Control: Understanding principles of infection control in healthcare settings and other environments, including strategies for preventing healthcare-associated infections, implementing standard precautions, and managing outbreaks.
  • Public Health Policy and Regulation: Familiarity with public health laws, regulations, and policies related to infectious diseases, including vaccination requirements, quarantine measures, reporting obligations, and guidelines for disease surveillance and control.
  • Travel Medicine and Global Health: Knowledge of travel-related infectious diseases, including risk assessment for international travelers, pretravel vaccinations, and management of travel-associated illnesses.
  • Zoonotic Diseases: Understanding diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, including emerging infectious diseases with animal origins (zoonoses), such as influenza, Ebola virus disease, and COVID-19.
  • Immunology and Vaccinology: Understanding the immune response to infectious agents, mechanisms of vaccine-induced immunity, vaccine development processes, and the role of vaccination in preventing infectious diseases.
  • Forensic Epidemiology: Expertise in applying epidemiological principles to legal investigations, including tracing the source of infectious disease outbreaks, and assessing causation in cases of disease transmission.
  • Ethical Considerations: Knowledge of ethical principles in infectious disease control, including issues related to patient confidentiality, informed consent for treatment and research, and balancing public health interests with individual rights.

Finding the Right Infectious Disease Expert Witness

When searching for the right infectious disease expert witness for your case, be sure to consider their experience, qualifications, and compatibility with your team to ensure effective collaboration and impactful testimony.

  • Search for Specialization: Consider experts with specific expertise relevant to your case; this can include treating tuberculosis, preventing the spread of fungal infections in a healthcare setting, or understanding of emerging infectious threats from animal to human transmission.
  • Review Qualifications: Verify the expert’s credentials, board certifications, and relevant training in infectious diseases. These experts typically are doctors with a degree in medicine (MD) or osteopathic medicine (DO). They are also generally board-certified in infectious diseases by recognized medical specialty boards like the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
  • Evaluate Communication Skills: An effective expert can explain complex medical concepts in a way that is easily understood by a nonmedical audience.
  • Review Testimony History: Has your potential expert witness provided testimony in court before? Review any previous testimony to avoid conflicting opinions.
  • Consider Availability: Ensure that the expert witness you choose is available to work on your case within your required timeline.

Getting the Most Out of Infectious Disease Expert Witness Testimony

To maximize the impact of your expert witness testimony, consider the following tips:

  • Prepare Thoroughly: Provide the expert with all relevant case materials and information well in advance to ensure they are fully prepared with a comprehensive understanding of the case early on.
  • Clarify Expectations: Clearly communicate the scope of the expert’s involvement and the specific issues they are expected to address in their testimony.
  • Collaborate Effectively: Foster open communication and collaboration between the expert witness and your team to develop a cohesive litigation strategy and identify key issues to focus on during testimony.
  • Anticipate Challenges: Work with the expert to anticipate potential challenges or counterarguments and develop strategies to address them during testimony.
  • Simplify Testimony: Help the expert communicate complex medical concepts in a clear and concise manner to the judge and jury.

Infectious disease expert witnesses play a crucial role in legal cases by providing valuable insights and opinions based on their specialized knowledge and experience. By understanding the role of infectious disease expert witnesses, selecting the right expert, and effectively leveraging their testimony, you can significantly strengthen your case.

GLG has a network of experts across all industries and disciplines who can offer their testimony to support your case. We connect lawyers with the right experts for their cases quickly and efficiently so you can focus on litigating and winning.

If you are a lawyer in need of an expert witness, submit your request below, and our team will get to work finding the right match.

Check out other articles on experts with similar experience:


Contact Us

Enter your contact information below and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly.

Thank you for contacting GLG, someone will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

GLG Law Newsletter

Stay informed with a monthly curation of litigation trends, key learnings from industry leaders, and exclusive expert-led events.