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What Does a Damages Expert Witness Do?

There are various types of damages that may be awarded to the victim in a claim for compensation. When the case involves an injury or incident that caused damage of some sort, there are monetary payouts provided to the plaintiff party when the court case is successful.

However, these may be different based on the situation and the type of damages sought. This is entirely dependent on the accident or negligence involved. This means that if event included economic harm instead of financial loss, more evidence, testimony or similar matters may be needed. The use of an expert witness is beneficial in explaining what occurred in detail, why compensation is necessary and how much should be awarded based on reasonable outlooks of the matter.

Another aspect that may be overlooked by some is that the opposing legal counsel may use an expert witness to refute the testimony provided by the plaintiff party. This could cause damage to the case if he or she appears to be more knowledgeable or charming than the one that explains why compensation should be awarded to the victim. However, a comprehensive report of the entire situation
backed by standard methods, evidence and scientific processes to come to the expert’s conclusion should be enough to sway the judge or jury panel so that it is understood that the incident necessitates the need for monetary compensation.

Damages Experts explained

Professionals that are used as expert witnesses to assess and assist with damages calculations usually have a background in economics, mathematics and financial or accounting fields. This provides the individual with the knowledge necessary to understand how much money is needed for hospital bills, economic impacts to a business, financial loss through fraud or similar crimes and errors in accounting reports. When an audit is completed with a business, an expert witness may be needed to understand the paperwork, numbers and other data relevant to the crimes. Civil litigation is usually initiated to recover from these injuries. Other instances of civil lawsuits may commence from situations where someone has been injured physically to the point that extensive damages are needed in compensatory payouts for medical treatment.

All manner of damages may be awarded depending on the situation and the action of the responsible party. If the judge or jury panel members deem the crimes or activity to be grossly in violation, it is possible to collect punitive damages that are used to punish the offending party in addition to compensation sought originally. This assist the wronged person in becoming whole after the incident. If the case involves a business that was harmed through fraud, embezzlement or similar offenses, it is possible that damages awarded could be in the multiple thousands or millions. The same is possible for class action suits that arise for numerous injured persons.

Damages, Calculations and the Expert Witness

There are usually standard methods that may be used to determine how much in damages the victim should be awarded when the case is successful. Through testimony provided to the judge or jury panel members, this professional is able to explain this number and why it is either as high or as low as it is. Based on reasonable and fair calculating the factors included in the claim, current, future and additional damages may be discovered. The number is usually affected by a loss of income, profits and benefits, any stock options granted, services in the household, medical treatment and therapy and various similar concerns. Personal needs and taxes are generally excluded from these numbers. Economic and financial losses from an incident usually have general charts or percentages to draw on by similar claims and incidents.

Some issues may be addressed when another expert witness is used to critique the report, but the professional should focus on the damages based on standard methods used for understanding and calculating these numbers. Typically, an expert also takes the factors of the local community, city and state along with what has been awarded previously for similar matters. This impacts what could be provided in compensation greatly, as one state or city could offer more or less based on the relevant elements of the claim. As long as the expert witness focuses on reliable and relevant data that may be measured by another expert in the same field, his or her findings should not be contested successfully. It is usually with an damages expert witness that the chances of a successful outcome are increased for victims of an incident that requires compensation.

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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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