An expert witness is a professional litigation specialist who can be hired to provide evidence and testimony within their field of expertise. Experts play crucial roles in trial preparation investigations and in accident reconstructions. Of course, if a legal case actually goes ahead to trial, the expert can be called to provide oral testimony in open court.
This guide helps parties to litigation select experts in order to achieve the best results at trial, while still maximizing overall monetary value.
Types of Expert Witness
Many legal matters can benefit from hiring an expert to help represent a party’s claims in court. Depending on the nature of the case, there may be a wide range of experts that may be helpful in establishing arguments for litigation.
There are typically experts from virtually any possible profession willing and able to lend their services to legal counsel for the purpose of bolstering a case or refuting damaging complaints and testimony from the opposing counsel. The most common types of trial experts include:
Medical doctors, chiropractors, complementary therapists
Psychologists and trained mental health counselors
Engineers from an exhaustive range of sciences
Law enforcement, private detectives and fire department personnel
Military personnel and historians
Automobile experts, machinery experts and other trade experts
Collegiate level professors or associate professors
Experts as Trial Witnesses
An expert can be used to provide credibility to evidence or argument, by lending their endorsement or rebuttal. Experts will typically be judged by their credentials, work history, publications, education, reputation and general professionalism, as well as how they present their testimony. Obviously, the better qualified an expert is, the more weight they tend to carry in legal proceedings.
Experts must be able to demonstrate to laymen the basis for their conclusions, since overly technical aspects of testimony can confuse and frustrate jurors.
Above all, experts should have intimate knowledge of the particulars of the case and should be able to withstand open and extensive questioning concerning their reports and observations from all sides in court.
To learn more about how your case can become stronger and more cohesive by retaining the services of a qualified expert, consult with your attorney or contact a private investigator near you. If you are a working PI, use our expert tips to become a good witness in any legal forum.