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Expert Witnesses

Lessons from Cases that Use an Expert Witness

It is important to understand what the use of an expert witness is and how best to use these professionals. However, before they may be utilized in court, the lawyer that hires them must carefully choose the right expert to represent an aspect of the case that is relevant and reliable.

This means that a subject such as human forensics or automobile crashes is explained by an expert witness through various means and with evidence and methods of determining his or her conclusion of these results to the judge or jury. There are a number of lessons that should be learned in order to use these persons correctly.

Long before the expert witness is used in the court room and explains an aspect of the case, he or she must be screened carefully. The professional must use standard or reproducible methods to determine his findings of evidence and proof supplied through both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s legal counsel. A report is compiled and provided to the lawyer with resources backing the claim. As long as the professional is not challenged through the Daubert standards, the individual is given the opportunity to explain his testimony to the
judge or jury panel. However, the expert must be an expert with credentials that are detailed to a judge to be considered part of the case.


There are incidents where someone on the site where heavy equipment is moving or working may be injured through a negligent act. This may arise due to the driver of the vehicle not checking his or her surroundings, the person walking is not paying attention to the other driving or if some other factor is involved. Unfortunately, the defending party may refuse any type of settlement in these situations claiming the victim was negligent. However, even with an expert witness for the defense, it may be possible to cross examine him or her and obtain information that refutes his or her conclusion of the matter.

In some circumstances, the expert witness may lie about being a professional about a certain aspect of the case such as person with a medical background. This may take time to discover, but when specific details do not match, it may be possible to reveal this deceit. This could also alter the entire case when the professional is proven to have expertise in another field. When negligence could be involved, it is difficult to prove that negligent acts occurred. However, the victim only needs to refute the defending party’s claim about negligence included in the incident for a better outcome to the claim.

The Expert Report

When the expert witness is hired to assist with a case he or she is tasked with creating a report about the methods, standard procedures and conclusions he or she processes through with the evidence and details of the incident or problem. This could be as few as three to five pages, or the document may be as large as fifteen or more pages. This depends on the lawyer and how complicated the case is. Other factors may affect what is placed in this report along with the elements needed to prove by the plaintiff party. This does mean that a great report could win the claim. When testimony is provided by an expert witness, his or her report is used to give the judge or jury members the information needed to understand why specific details are due to the actions of the defending party or through other factors. However, because the weight of expert witness testimony is frequently greater than a usual witness, his or her report could be what wins the day.


The skills of the expert witness in presenting himself or herself, testimony and the possible facts or opinions of the case are critical and could cause a jury or judge to believe him or her more or disregard the person as not very relevant to the issue. This presentation could be in how he or she acts, dresses, talks and explains the information. If the words used are too complex for the average person, he or she may appear to be snobby or appear in a negative light. It is important to be approachable but intelligent.

The Expert Witness

While there are lessons that may be learned from cases, the expert may also learn how to approach, talk to and explain information to the audience. This may be through extensive use in the court room or practice with others. No matter what route the expert witness takes in learning along with others, he or she is generally critical in many different types of cases to increasing the odds of a successful resolution to the problem.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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