Utilizing Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on December 6, 2019 and updated on March 6, 2022.

expert witnesses in a court caseAs the injured party, you will bear the burden of showing the other party caused the accident and the full extent of your damages. Expert witnesses can be useful in personal injury cases when important facts and issues are in dispute and can help explain complex information in a simpler manner.

Contact our legal team at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices to schedule a free consultation. We often consult with expert witnesses on behalf of our clients to help build their case. We are prepared to review your situation and determine the legal options available to you.

Requirements for Expert Witnesses

An expert witness must meet certain criteria before he or she can be classified as such. This requires showing the following:

  • The witness has technical, scientific or specialized knowledge
  • This knowledge will help the jury determine a fact at issue in the case or understand the evidence that will be presented to them
  • The witness has applied reliable methods and principles to develop a professional opinion

Distinguishing an Expert Witness From a Lay Witness

There are generally two classifications of witnesses: lay witnesses and expert witnesses. An expert witness has particular knowledge, skill, experience, training or education that make him or her qualified as an expert and a specialist in their field. A lay witness does not have these traits.

Lay witnesses are limited in the type of information they can provide in court, such as only information they know from their own perceptions. Unlike an expert witness, a lay witness cannot provide opinions of a scientific, technical or specialized nature.

Advantages of Using Expert Witness Testimony

There are several advantages to using expert witness testimony. Expert witnesses may provide useful insights and explanations of highly scientific or technical information. This can be useful when important information is in dispute in a case.

Expert witnesses help explain facts or issues involved in the case. They can make inferences based on the scientific techniques and theories they use. Additionally, they can summarize the key information involved in a particular issue, what the implications of the evidence are and how the results should be interpreted.

When an Expert Witness Should Be Used

Some of the times when expert witness testimony may be most useful include:

  • To prove negligence – A cornerstone of most personal injury cases is establishing that the other party was negligent. This requires showing that the responsible party had a legal duty and breached it. Expert witnesses can help establish both of these elements. For example, in a medical malpractice case, an expert witness would testify about the accepted standard of care for the medical community given the same background and qualifications as the doctor at fault.
  • To show the full extent of your damages – Some personal injury cases involve complex damages, including a loss of earning capacity, ongoing medical care or permanent disability. An expert witness can provide a detailed analysis of the economic impact of an injury.
  • To level the playing field – If the other party has an expert witness, you will want your own expert who can counter his or her claims.

Let Us Help You

If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, an expert witness may be invaluable to your potential case. The Maryland personal injury lawyers at our firm are prepared to offer more information about using expert witness testimony during a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We charge no upfront fees and you only pay us if we help you recover compensation.

Call 410-244-7005 or complete our Free Case Review form now.