What Are Expert Witnesses And Why Are They Necessary?

Personal Injury Lawyer

In regard to personal injury law, an expert witness is a professional who has experience in a field that relates to your personal injury matter and can provide an opinion at trial. They are typically used in personal injury cases to provide supporting evidence for a plaintiff’s case. An experienced personal injury lawyer explains, expert witnesses are important because they provide specialized and credible insight into the incident that a regular witness may not have. Expert witnesses are especially valuable in cases concerning complex technical matters for which the average person would not have the knowledge to provide sufficient evidence. For example, a doctor could help explain the science behind a medical malpractice injury claim and an engineer could help explain the flaws in the construction of a defective product. 

There are many types of experts. Below are a few that are commonly utilized in personal injury lawsuits: 

  • Medical: Medical experts can offer opinions on the standard of care in the case, as well as the cause and extent of the plaintiffs’ injuries. 
  • Economic: Economic experts specialize in analyzing financial data and providing testimony regarding issues such as lost wages, medical bills, and other financial losses related to the personal injury case. They are typically hired to calculate the present and future economic impact of the injury on the plaintiff. 
  • Forensic: Forensic experts can evaluate physical evidence and provide conclusions or opinions based on analysis. They often need to be certified or have extensive training in examining evidence. 
  • Mental Health: Mental health experts are usually psychiatrists or psychologists and specialize in evaluating people’s mental state or abilities. They can provide insights about a person’s psychological history and behavior that may be relevant to the case. 

Having an expert witness is an important part of any personal injury case because they can provide credible insight that helps the plaintiff prove their claims or determine that the defendant was liable. It is important that your personal injury attorney hires an expert with proper experience and credentials to ensure the accuracy and validity of their testimony. 

Experts can be hired to consult on a case, provide testimony at trial, or both. When an expert is hired to consult, they provide expertise and review the facts of the case so that they can give your attorney recommendations on how to proceed. Consulting experts may also be asked to provide an opinion on whether the plaintiff will likely succeed in their claim or what the damages should be in the case. When an expert is hired to provide testimony, they will provide evidence to the judge and jury during trials. Their expertise is used to analyze the facts of the case and present this information in a manner that is both understandable and useful to the judge and jury. They may also be asked questions regarding their expert opinion. Testimony experts are typically more experienced than consulting experts, as they have been called upon in the past to provide their expert opinion in court. It is also possible to hire the same expert to consult and give testimony in a case. 

Thanks to Eglet Adams, for their insight on expert witnesses and their importance in personal injury lawsuits. 

Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C.

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Telephone: (603) 883-0797 | FAX: (603) 883-8723 | [email protected]

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