Why do we need expert witnesses in legal cases?
When you bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you have an obligation under the law to prove your damages.
This means that you likely cannot just “pick a number” that seems fair, or simply guess what happened (when you really are not certain).
What Are Expert WitnessesExpert witnesses are individuals who have scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge that will help a jury to understand complex evidence or establish a disputed fact.
Several types of witnesses might be called to provide expert testimony in a personal injury case.- Medical experts, who testify as to the injuries or illnesses suffered by the plaintiff and whether the conditions are related to the accident in question.
- Economists, who testify about the long-term losses an injury may have caused.
- Accident reconstruction experts, who testify about how an accident likely happened.
- Vocational experts, who testify regarding how a plaintiff's injuries will affect his future earning capacity.
Is An Expert Testimony A Necessity?When an issue or dispute is too complicated for the ordinary juror to understand, an expert is needed to explain complex concepts and provide opinions to the jury. Consider these examples:
- Sometimes a person involved in an accident has a difficult time remembering exactly what happened or does not know what happened; an accident reconstruction expert can help fill in the gaps.
- Although an accident victim is aware of his injuries, a treating physician or medical expert can relate them to the accident in question, explain the mechanism of injury and the reasons for the pain in medical jargon, provide an opinion regarding the necessity of future medical treatment and give the jury a concrete number regarding what such treatment will likely cost.
- If a plaintiff is no longer to perform the same work that he did before the injury or is unable to work at all, vocational experts and economists are trained to testify about how his future earning ability and capacity have been affected.
Expert witnesses often play an integral role in many personal injury cases, and provide valuable assIn some cases, you simply cannot win a case without expert witnesses.
In these cases, the experience and success rate of your attorney becomes crucial. An experienced litigation attorney will have the experts that he has worked with in the past, with great success for his clients.