I'm the Plaintiff in a civil case against the Defendant (personal injury). If I want the doctor to testify about his diagnosis of my condition, do I subpoena him to appear at trial, or do I have to get him to agree to be an expert witness for me? I'm also considering asking to evaluate pictures of the defendant and give his professional opinion about possible injuries. If the doctor does not want to be my expert witness, can I subpoena him anyways as a normal witness regarding his diagnosis of my injuries? Thanks!
Yes, you can subpoena him as a witness since he treated you, but expect to pay the reasonable cost of his time. You may be able to use him as an expert also.
Consult a personal injury attorney to assist you in your case. Most of us offer free consultations and it would be worth speaking to one if you have not already.
You would need to get his agreement to testify about the other party, and you would have to disclose him as an expert. I doubt he will be willing to try to make a diagnosis from looking at a picture. defense may be able to preclude that testimony as without foundation. If doc hasn't examined the person, or reviewed his records, deposition, etc. he probably wouldn't have a valid expert opinion.
You really do have both options, whether or nor you want to retain him as an expert matter on the facts and what you want to get out of his testimony. However, if in the matter he refused to be an expert witness for your claim you can always subpoena him to testify. Experts are generally positive feed back for your claim, while somethings subpoena's of a doctor may create hostility towards you from the doctor. Both are costly. I recommend you have a personal injury attorney by your side as litigation can be a complex procedure.
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