Importance of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Trials

Expert witnesses are people with specialized training and knowledge in a specific field, like personal injury. Contributing to the integrity and fairness of the justice system, expert witnesses ensure that credible evidence informs decisions. The importance of expert witnesses in personal injury trials is vast.

At Jordan Law Center, we can successfully represent you and help you obtain expert witnesses for your personal injury case.

Role and Importance of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Trials

Expert witnesses are important and play many roles in personal injury cases. They are called upon to give testimony to help the judge and jury better understand the technical aspects of your case related to their field of expertise. Expert witnesses can provide unbiased opinions and help interpret evidence, unlike regular witnesses.

Whether you or the other party called the expert witness to testify, the witness must remain unbiased, impartial and honest when providing factual testimony.

Another critical way expert witnesses are important is that they can serve as intermediaries.

They bring consideration and an impression of objectivity to your case. Expert witnesses can build understanding, explain scientific aspects and provide background information, which jurors interpret as the expert being grounded in reality.

Qualifications of expert witnesses

One required qualification for an expert witness is expertise in the case field, whether gained through experience, training or education. Their credibility is also an important factor to be an expert witness. Research their background extensively, talk to references, professional experience, and more before deciding if they can help with your case.

The expert witness must also be able to explain technical jargon in layman’s terms so that the judge and jury can understand. Speaking concisely and clearly is essential. They must perform well under pressure when cross-examined without wavering their opinions or testimony.

Another essential qualification is that there is no conflict of interest. If the expert witness knows you or the other party in any capacity, their judgment could be biased.

Requirements for expert testimony

According to FRE VII, Rule 702, expert testimony has four requirements. The first requirement is that the expert helps the case judge understand the evidence presented through the expert’s specialized knowledge. The second requirement is that the expert’s testimony be based on ample data and facts.

The third requirement is that reliable methods be used to create expert testimony. The fourth requirement is that the expert’s opinion exhibits a well-grounded utilization of the method to the facts of the case.

Types of expert witnesses commonly utilized

There are many types of expert witnesses you could use in your personal injury case. Your attorney will help you determine what types of expert witnesses should be used in your case.

Types of expert witnesses commonly used in personal injury cases include:

  • Accident reconstruction experts
  • Economic experts
  • Forensic experts are people who analyze material evidence like blood splatter and ballistics.
  • Medical experts are the most notable expert witnesses used.
  • Mental health experts help to determine if someone is of sound mind.
  • Vocational experts

Depending on your type of personal injury case, your attorney will contact specific expert witnesses to testify. For example, suppose you were involved in a slip-and-fall accident because of unstable ground and a crack in the concrete. In that case, your attorney may call a structural engineer to explain how the unstable ground caused the crack.

Impact of Expert Testimony on Case Outcomes

One of the main impacts expert witnesses can have on your case is influence. By explaining technical aspects of your case and giving opinions, expert testimony can sway the judge and jury, significantly influencing the verdict and, ultimately, the settlement amount. They also help to make the justice system fair with informed decision-making.

Notable Personal Injury Cases Involving Expert Witnesses

One notable case that changed the admissibility of expert witnesses is Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 1993. Daubert called in an expert witness who claimed the medication she was on while pregnant caused birth defects in her sons. The expert witness used studies that had not been peer-reviewed, so the case was dismissed.

Since that case, Federal courts have instituted the Daubert Standard for expert witness testimony. This standard allows courts to determine whether expert testimony is admissible.

Five questions are asked when using the Daubert standard:

  1. Can the theory be tested?
  2. Has the theory been peer-reviewed or published?
  3. Is there a known or potential error rate of the theory?
  4. Are there maintained standards for the method?
  5. Has the scientific community accepted the method?

All but eight states have adopted the Daubert standard over previous methods. The eight states that have not adopted the Daubert standard still use the Frye standard.

Establish Liability and Prove Negligence with Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Trials

The importance of expert witnesses in personal injury trails can make or break your case. Talk to your attorney about what an expert witness can do for you and what kind you need.

If you have any questions or need help with your personal injury case, contact us at Jordan Law Center. Our compassionate and hands-on team can assist you with your needs.

Sources:

What Is An Expert Witness? Understanding Their Role In Court (powerhouseforensics.com)

Contact Us – Jordan Law Center

Why Are Expert Witnesses Important? (expertinstitute.com)

What Is the Role of the Expert Witness in Personal Injury Trials? | LawInfo

Expert Witnesses: When Your Personal Injury Case Needs One (enjuris.com)

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. :: 509 U.S. 579 (1993) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses | Federal Rules of Evidence | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)

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