A witness is the first person who comes to mind when considering a court trial. A witness is a significant piece of evidence. You must have watched a lot of legal dramas where witnesses go through a lot to reach the trial. A witness statement can land you in jail for a significant amount of time in the future.
However, not all types of witnesses are the same. A “lay witness” is the person you are picturing. In addition to them, there are other witnesses, such as eyewitnesses, character witnesses, and expert witnesses.
Have you ever attended a trial hearing for a personal injury case where the personal injury lawyers took turns presenting their cases? Individual injury cases almost always ask expert witnesses for their opinions and advice. You might be curious about expert witnesses at this point. Please permit me to shed some light on the situation for you.
Expert Witnesses: Who Are They?
The name says it all when it comes to matters about expert witnesses. A person with expertise in a specific field is known as an expert witness. They can appear before the court to answer the questions because of their experience, knowledge, educational background, and specialized training.
A medical expert, for instance, fills the role of an expert witness in a complicated medical case involving a personal injury claim. They simplify difficult situations by providing relevant facts and supporting the case’s successful resolution.
In terms of credibility and area of expertise, an expert witness is distinct from a fact witness. You know that lay witnesses can only state facts and not offer their opinions. Expert witnesses, however, are free to express their views.
An expert witness helps the court understand the facts in a complicated personal injury lawsuit. Overall, experts can assist Judges and jurors in reaching a decision in complex cases.
When a judge compares the words of a lay witness and an expert witness, the expert witness appears more unbiased and objective.
You might understand this if a car hits a person crossing the street. The lay witness will state the truth as it is. Suppose there is a problem with the brake system or another issue. In that case, the personal injury attorney will have an expert read the entire case.
Judges prefer it in cases involving personal injury because it is more plausible.
What Are The General Duties Of Expert Witnesses?
The court places a great deal of trust in expert witnesses. One wrong statement can ruin someone’s life.
The expert witness needs to be objective and unbiased toward both sides. Experts’ primary responsibility is to assess the situation and offer the best conclusion to the case. Say that you will give an unbiased opinion if the court asks you to testify as an expert witness.
- Provide an independent opinion.
- Stay true to your responsibility.
- Point out if you find an anomaly.
- Comply with the procedure and rules of the courts.
As an expert witness, in which you can express an opinion. You must draw reasonable conclusions on your own. You should not, for instance, argue on the case for the party that appointed you; you should not accept bribes from any party; you should not negotiate; and so on and so forth.
Expert Witness In Personal Injury Case
Before you can delve into the role of an expert witness in a personal injury lawsuit, you must first understand what the term “expert witness” means.
Any legal case in which a person sustains an injury caused by another person is referred to as a personal injury case. Simply put, the person who causes harm is legally responsible for the accident or damage the other person sustains.
There are two types of personal injuries:
General Damages – General damages include compensation for pain, injury, and mental health damage.
Special Damages – Special damages are the compensation for any financial losses you incurred due to your accident.
Please permit me to introduce you to a few of the typical expert witnesses called to testify in court to give their expert opinions.
Medical Expert Witness
Typically, medical experts are consulted by personal injury attorneys. In an individual injury case, the most common type of injury relates to health; thus, medical experts testify in the trial. As a medical expert witness, you must understand the situation and give the victim a comprehensive health damage report.
Imagine that the personal injury attorney for the defendant contends that the plaintiff did not suffer any injuries due to the accident. Expert witnesses can assist the court in such a situation.
Vocational Expert Witness
People who also play essential roles in personal injury law are known as vocational experts. Your attorney can present the vocational expert witness to describe the effects of injury damage on the victim’s ability to perform their job, the amount of money they lost due to the injury, and the duration of the injury.
Even though vocational expert witnesses are required, they are rarely necessary in present cases. You will see such an expert witness on a unique and challenging matter.
Forensic Accounts Expert Witness
In addition, forensic accountants play a significant role in the financial repercussions of the victim of a personal injury. Expert witnesses are used in complex cases where the judge or jurors cannot determine the full financial impact of the plaintiff’s injury.
As a forensic accountant, you will indicate the amount the victim could have made if not for the accident or loss due to the injury.
Mental Health Expert Witness
Injuries to one’s mental health are as significant as those to one’s body. After an accident, the victim frequently develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychologists and psychiatrists often testify as expert witnesses to mitigate potential damage to a person’s mental health during a trial.
Mental injury, in contrast to physical injury, cannot be seen. There are times when insufficient evidence supports your claim of mental damage. The mental health expert may fight for the victim in such cases. The expert witness will be able to describe the extent of the cognitive damage and the compensation for the injury.
Engineering Expert Witness
Yes! In cases involving accident reconstruction, engineering experts are exactly who you see. An engineering expert has previous work experience in the design and engineering fields. They examine the situation and the evidence to provide technical conclusions to the court.
Well, there you have it! Expert witnesses are vital to attest to what occurred and who most likely bears responsibility for personal injuries. In addition to this, such experts assist the judge in understanding the potential compensation involved.