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Expert Witnesses

Why Litigation Needs an Expert Witness to Explain Details

Litigation is often messy, complicated and difficult to get through for all parties concerned. There are procedures, processes, stages, officials and documentation that all demand perfection or else they could be thrown out.

This means a lawyer with extensive knowledge of the subject and an expert witness who is capable of explaining the details of a reconstructed incident, conclusions to his or her method based opinion or simply providing an explanation of the evidence so that the judge or jury may comprehend the intricacies of the accident or issue. A professional that has knowledge of these fields of study usually has a clearer grasp on what the materials in a court room mean. Translating documents, video footage or simply clarifying how certain actions occurred is the job of the expert witness.

There are numerous issues involved in including an expert witness into a court case, and these often revolve around his or her testimony. It must be above reproach, and it must pass a Daubert challenge if one is issued, else it may be inadmissible. However, when standard methods
are used or the professional has data backing up his or her claim, it is possible to avoid the potential for a challenge to the concluding opinion based on the evidence and processes to determine the report. Provided the testimony may be used in the court room, the details that are explained to the judge or jury generally have enough weight behind them that the chances of success increase greatly.

Expected Services

For an expert witness to participate in a case or claim, he or she must be knowledgeable in a field of study relevant to the material presented to the judge or jury. This requires experience or study with years of practice in the subject. Through these courses, jobs or careers, expert witnesses often have the capability of explaining how the evidence is relevant to a conclusion with reliable testimony based on certain standard or testable methods. Other expected services may include having comprehension of other issues that affect the victim of an incident such as medical or economic damages.

A professional hired for a case should have the capacity of dealing with unexpected problems that may arise through proceedings. These may come from additional evidence that conflicts with the findings of the expert, another professional hired that refutes the conclusions proposed or a Daubert challenge against the relevance or reliability of testimony. The services that expert witnesses provide are available at a fee, and these are usually added onto the compensation awarded to the plaintiff in a successful case. Typically this is completed through a contract between the lawyer and expert. When the case is concluded, the fees are provided based on the previously agreed to amounts.

The Effectiveness of an Expert Witness

Many expert witnesses have worked in a field for numerous years. This provides a unique perspective on the subject relevant to the case. With this knowledge, they are able to explain how construction defects cause injuries, medical malpractice is the reason a person cannot afford healthcare the rest of the year, automobile accidents are the fault of the other drivers and many similar concerns. Their methods used are backed by standard guidelines, scientific processes and a testable or reproducible procedure that explains the evidence or some aspect of the issue that may not be seen by the average person that has not studied the field.

Many experts are required when the case is complex or complicated such as business fraud, theft of intellectual property and when the data cannot be understood by someone that has never studied or researched the subject. This provides these professionals an opportunity to translate the numbers or code into relevant details to the court so that the plaintiff may seek the remedy or compensation necessary to resolve the matter. This is not often possible if there is only a lawyer to present the evidence. An expert witness is more useful in illuminating the elements of the claim that are not observed, have been forgotten or cannot be comprehended until a clearer light is shed on the details.

The Expert Witness

By hiring an expert witness, the chances of a successful outcome for complicated, difficult or specific cases increase profoundly in many circumstances. Having a professional that may translate how certain wounds are caused by a specific tool or material is invaluable for a judge or jury in understanding why compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff.

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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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