Sometime before the trial of every personal injury case, each lawyer involved must make sure that the physicians whom he will call to testify understand the legal meaning of certain medical words. Counsel have not sufficiently prepared their case from a medical viewpoint, when they have ascertained the trauma sustained and its medical consequences. The lawyer must also educate the doctor about legal technicalities which will control the significance of the doctor's testimony. Among the most important formal requirements on the physician's testimony are those which relate to the language of causation. This article will discuss the views of various jurisdictions, the conflict between those views and accepted principles of semantics and medicine, and possible solutions to eliminate apparent incongruities in this area of the law.


Trauma: Causation Problems (A Symposium)