Written by attorney Gerald Michael Oginski

Your Doctor Refuses to Testify at Trial; What Can You Do? NY Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains

Your accident case, medical malpractice or wrongful death case is coming up for trial and you need your treating doctor to come in and testify. It is important for the jury to hear from the doctor who treated you, so they know exactly what he did, what problems you had and what the future holds for you.

You have a good relationship with your treating doctor. You like him and he likes you. At your next office visit, you bring up the subject of your upcoming trial. You ask him politely whether he would be willing to come in and testify on your behalf.

He says "No." He does not have time and it is his policy that he does not testify for patients. What do you do?

The first thing is that you can subpoena the doctor into court. This means that you serve him with a document that compels him to appear in court at a particular date and time. That means he must give up his patient schedule for that day in order to come in and testify.

The alternative is that we hire medical experts to testify after they have reviewed all of your records. This way they can explain to the jury exactly what happened to you, what treatment the doctor provided to you and what your prognosis is.

It is often preferable to have your treating physician appear in court on your behalf. If we must resort to serving a subpoena on your treating doctor, it is certainly going to hamper your ongoing relationship with him and may also affect your future care and treatment, assuming you are still under his care.

Watch the video to learn what happens if you have to subpoena your treating doctor.

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