Expert Witness – What is it?

Posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 4:40 am    

It is not uncommon to be advised by your attorney that your case will require an expert witness. In fact, expert witnesses are a necessary part of many personal injury cases. This article and subsequent ones will discuss the role expert witnesses play in personal injury cases.

What is an Expert Witness?

Expert witnesses play an important role in personal injury cases where legal and medical issues are complex. Therefore, it is no surprise that asbestos lawsuits require expert witnesses. An expert witness is defined as an expert who testified about their conclusions in a case based on a scientifically sound analysis. The expert may rely on some sort of evidence that similar professionals would normally rely on in their work. For example, an x-ray or CT scan. It is correct to say that an expert witness is a person with special knowledge, skill, training, education or experience in a specific subject. Expert witness testimony in a court trial gives information to the jury which is not common knowledge.

For example, it is not necessary to have an expert to provide testimony on the purpose of a screw. However, they may provide testimony to explain the following aspects:

  • The expected weight of the screw
  • The quality of the material the screw is made from
  • Why a specific manufacturing process made a screw different from others

Generally, courts do not allow witnesses to testify on the basis of their own opinions or analysis. However, such rules are relaxed when it comes to expert testimony. This is mainly because the testimony is based on the expert witness’s field of expertise. Further, as noted in the definition, the conclusions or analysis provided by the expert must be scientifically sound.

In the Federal courts, judges make a decision as to the trustworthiness of the expert witness. This often happens during a pretrial.



Contact Us Get In Touch

"*" indicates required fields