While the evidence collected in personal injury cases tends to be enough to determine who was at fault, there are instances where it is not so clear-cut. This may necessitate the use of an expert witness. A skilled attorney could explain to you the positives and negatives of bringing on someone to a car accident trial to give their expert unbiased opinion of certain matters pertaining to the accident. When utilized correctly, expert witnesses in Cicero car accident cases could provide convincing testimony that proves the defendant was liable for your injuries.
In many legal cases, either party can call on expert witnesses to testify. An expert witness does not have first-hand knowledge of the facts of the case, but instead reviews the evidence and provides clarity or draws conclusions. An expert witness can be an engineer, doctor, scholar, or anyone else with specialized knowledge that could assist the jury in making a determination.
While there are no set guidelines as to who can serve as an expert witness, it is accepted that they must possess some knowledge or experience in a subject matter which can assist the jury. There are no schooling requirements, degrees, or certificates necessary to serve as an expert witness. However, if an expert witness is going to render an opinion, they should have the qualifications to do so.
The two most common types of expert witnesses used in local car crash cases are accident reconstructionists and medical expert witnesses. An accident reconstruction expert could examine all of the facts of the accident and provide an opinion as to what the cause was. A medical expert witness could provide clarity on a medical issue, such as how it could have happened or what the permanent damage will be.
Either side can hire an expert witness in order to provide testimony which may help their case. There are no requirements regarding the relationship between a plaintiff and an expert. Generally, lawyers want the expert to have no prior relationship with any party so that their credibility is not questioned. For example, if the expert witness and the plaintiff were friends, the defense attorney could cross-examine the expert and imply that they are trying to help their friend, and are not necessarily examining the evidence.
The decision to use an expert is usually a strategic choice by the lawyer handling the litigation. Expert witnesses are typically expensive to hire. While some cases will justify the use of an expert witness, many will not. Additionally, many auto accident claims are fairly straightforward in terms of the facts. An expert witness is used when there is a dispute about one or more facts, and the expert can provide an opinion based on their relevant experience and training. Much care should be given to the selection of the expert. A strong expert could help someone’s case but a weak expert could detract from it.
A jury can give an expert witness’s opinion as much or as little credibility as they determine. Some experts are viewed merely as paid testifiers while others have strong credibility. The weight that a jury gives to expert testimony depends on the qualifications of the expert and the clarity of their opinions.
Ideally, an expert witness should be used after a Cicero car accident if they can help prove an element of the case. They could help establish liability or some disputed medical fact. Expert witnesses are expensive to hire unless the case has sufficient value to justify hiring one. Many trials do not involve complex issues, which reduces the need for experts.
It is not a guarantee that you will need expert testimony to recover damages. However, in situations where liability or fault is disputed, they can be useful in bolstering your argument. A lawyer could discuss the merits of expert witnesses in Cicero car accidents and provide a list of names to be contacted. Seek legal counsel today to begin your journey to recovery.