Being injured due to someone else’s negligence can abruptly and negatively affect your physical and mental health, ability to work and function, and relationships with your loved ones. In a perfect world, the responsible party and their insurer would admit their liability quickly and give you the compensation you need to recover and take care of your needs. However, in many instances, the other side will do all they can to deny their culpability and minimize your damages. Fortunately, through the use of expert witnesses, you may be better equipped to establish your claims and hold the responsible party accountable.
An expert witness is an individual who is considered to be authority on a specific subject. These qualifications usually include having the education, experience, knowledge, and specialized training, to offer an opinion on a matter.
Testifying and Consulting Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses can serve on a case in different capacities. Generally, the expert can be a testifying or consulting expert or both. A testifying expert is an individual who will testify and provide the court or jury with information about a subject matter. A consulting expert does not testify, but is typically brought in to help explain information which helps the attorney understand an issue.
If an expert is testifying the opposing side can find out who they are and what information they used to develop their opinion. However, when the expert is purely consulting, the other party is not entitled to information about them.
Type of Experts
An expert witnesses are ordinarily professional who can help the attorney, judge or jury comprehend a complicated or disputed issue in a lawsuit. In a personal injury case, a witness could be an accident reconstruction expert who can state what happened during a crash and who was responsible for the collision. Another expert could be a mental health professional who treated the victim for emotional distress following the accident and can attest to his or her pain and suffering. A medical doctor could discuss a patient's physical injuries and his or her prognosis and likelihood of being able to work or regain their ability to function fully.
While both parties will present evidence to support their positions, an expert can help the factfinder better understand the information and your proof. Further, when an expert is well qualified and can support his or her opinion, they add credibility and strength to your position. Additionally, because some damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of function, are subjective they can be difficult to quantify. An expert can help create a sense of what the victim has endured which may assist the factfinder in accurately and fairly calculating the damage.
At the Draper Firm, we understand the importance of having the right experts on your side and can help you support your claims. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence contact us today to speak with an experienced personal attorney, who can help you build your case and get the compensation you deserve.