When you are trying to prove something in your personal injury case that is a bit complicated, you may rely on an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who is a specialist in their field who can present their opinion about something relating to your lawsuit. Expert witnesses are mainly used in a trial to help show the judge or jury some point of view of how a certain thing could have happened.
When to Call an Expert Witness
In a trial, a witness cannot give an opinion on a particular piece of evidence that requires special knowledge or training without being qualified as an expert witness. For example, if you are suing for an injury that occurred during a hit and run accident, you may call an expert witness to discuss the skid marks and what their thickness and length can tell you about an accident. This is different from a lay opinion, which is based on common knowledge. You don’t need an expert witness to prove that a car was going fast since a reasonable common person understands what “fast” means. You do need an expert witness to prove that based on skid marks, the car weighed approximately 2200lbs and had a rear axis length of 3ft. The main difference between an expert and lay witness is the expert’s ability to provide opinion evidence, rather than just evidence of his or her perception.
How to Find an Expert Witness
Depending on why you need an expert witness, there are many professionals, researchers, and scientists that are often called on to be expert witnesses in their field. Your attorney will be able to recommend expert witnesses that would be useful in your case. Expert witnesses should be strategically chosen since their fee can be rather high. Talk to your attorney about whether an expert witness would be a good fit for your case.