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Deposition Designation Station

Dr. Michael G. Klassen

Orthopaedic surgeons assist in medical/legal evaluations in several ways. Orthopaedic expert witnesses may evaluate claimants with musculoskeletal injuries in cases that require an objective unbiased physical examination and/or expert orthopaedic opinion for settlement, negotiations, or trial. Sometimes these are called:

  • Independent Medical Evaluations (IME)
  • Qualified Medical Evaluations (QME) or
  • Agreed Medical Evaluations (AME)
The medical expert may assist the parties with record review only, or with an oral or written report, or may complete a physical examination of the claimant and then provide an expert unbiased objective medical opinion in the form of a written report or may assist with trial preparations. Additionally, the orthopaedic surgeon may be called upon to provide testimony in the form of a deposition or court testimony with regard to standard of care issues, outcomes, current condition, appropriateness of past medical care or future medical care.

The medical expert may review a case and provide litigation support services to attorneys, insurance companies or the judiciary. The orthopaedic expert can often provide a case review and determine if a case is worth pursuing or provide guidance and assistance to those involved on issues involved in the action with regard to medical issues or accountability.

The orthopaedic surgeon expert witness is to be an advocate for the truth and provide only those opinions that are unbiased and can be supported with evidence based medical research found in high quality peer reviewed literature. Sometimes the surgeon must educate the parties involved with regard to anatomy, physiology, medical pathology, surgical care and rehabilitation issues. The goal of the expert is always to provide an opinion that is helpful, clear, honest and straightforward and to bring clarity to what are frequently complex issues. An orthopaedic expert witness must be an assistant to the court and advocate for the truth in each case and adhere to the Standards of Professionalism of expert witness testimony as set out by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Michael G. Klassen, Chief Consultant of Orthopaedic Forensic Services, is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in full-time practice. He is also a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and has been certified by the State of California as a Qualified Medical Evaluator.

He has extensive training in the proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and is skilled in diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention. He is experienced in diagnosing and treating injuries, whether from motor vehicle accidents, sports activities, or industrial incidents.

Dr. Klassen has conducted extensive orthopaedic related research, made numerous presentations, and volunteered his services to sports organizations as Medical Director, Physician, and Team Orthopaedic Surgeon. He is on the Board of Councilors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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