An expert witness is an individual who due to education, training or experience is recognized by the Court as having a high degree of expertise in a particular field. Expert witnesses are allowed to testify in personal injury and other civil matters if they have some particularized knowledge that may help the judge or jury decide the case according to personal injury attorney Brien Roche . For instance, in a product liability case the plaintiff has to prove some defect in the product. In most instances the only way to prove that is through the use of an expert witness who can testify as to the nature of the defect and how that defect then caused the injury to the plaintiff.
Likewise in a medical malpractice case the plaintiff has to prove that the health care provider violated the applicable standard of care. The only way to do that is to present expert testimony from another expert witness with knowledge and experience in that field of practice who can testify as to what the standard of care is and how it was violated.
The defendant may also present countervailing expert testimony.
In addition the burden is with the plaintiff to prove the damages claimed. To do that in a personal injury case expert testimony will have to be presented from a medical practitioner as to the nature of the injury, the origin of the injury and any prognosis. Likewise there may be a need for other professionals to testify as to other aspects of damages.
An expert witness frequently comes with the case in the form of the plaintiff’s treating physician. On occasion it is necessary for the attorney to seek out expert witnesses to explain how the injury occurred. These witnesses may be engineers, architects or people from a host of other disciplines. Typically these experts expect to be paid for their time and involvement in the case.
For more information on expert witnesses and related personal injury matters see the other pages on this site.
For more information on expert witnesses see the pages on Wikipedia.