An expert witness is someone who has a particular experience that would be helpful in an aspect of the case, which may not be within the general knowledge and experience of the jurors. Most witnesses would testify to facts they know or observe relative to the accident, but an expert witness does not have firsthand knowledge in a case and is used strictly to explain aspects of a case and render an opinion. Expert witnesses in Oak Lawn car accident cases can be essential to the verdict. If you are have been injured in a car wreck and want to file a claim, consult with a seasoned car wreck lawyer who has experience dealing with expert witnesses.
Someone becomes an expert witness based on their experience, training, or background in some subject matter involved in the case. There are no strict rules as to who qualifies as an expert witness. A lawyer wants to select the most qualified person to be an expert witness in an Oak Lawn car wreck case. The other side may attack the qualifications of an expert in an attempt to discredit their opinions. The stronger the qualifications, the more likely a jury would follow the opinion of the expert witness when reaching their verdict.
There are several types of expert witnesses an attorney could use. A lawyer may use accident reconstruction experts when there is a dispute as to how an accident occurred. An accident reconstructionist provides testimony as to the speeds of the vehicles, angles of impact, and other important conclusions in a car collision case. The most common expert witnesses in Oak Lawn car accident cases are medical experts. Even if one proves the other person is at fault, they still need to prove their injuries. Often expert witnesses are hired to explain the nature and extent of the injuries. This could help determine the value of the claim. Medical expert witnesses also frequently testify as to causation. An expert may testify a certain injury or condition is or is not related to the accident.
The expert witness is allowed to have an existing relationship with the plaintiff. Sometimes a treating doctor becomes an expert witness in a car wreck case. Doctors treat patients and do not concern themselves with legal opinions since it is not necessary to their treatment, but in court, lawyers need to present legal opinions. This takes them out of the role as strictly a treating doctor and into the role of an expert witness.
The weight given to expert witness testimony in a car accident varies from case to case. The qualifications of the expert witness, their opinions, as well as their basis for those opinions, impact the weight given to the expert testimony. A jury is free to disregard the expert testimony altogether. Since experts are paid for their testimony, often large amounts of money by one side or another, jurors frequently disregard expert testimony as being bought and paid for. Expert witnesses provide their opinion to whoever hires them. There are some doctors who make more money testifying as an expert witness than they do practicing medicine. However, expert witnesses in Oak Lawn car accident cases can still be effective and are a common part of court cases. More often than not a qualified expert could sway a verdict one way or another in a court case.
There are several reasons why someone may not want an expert witness in their case. First, expert witnesses are expensive, often costing thousands of dollars. The cost of an expert witness impacts how much money the plaintiff walks away with at the end of the case. Some cases are not big enough to make retaining an expert witness economically-viable. Also, an expert witness is subject to cross-examination by the other side. Sometimes an expert may do more harm than good. Whatever help they may be in coming to a conclusion is outweighed by the harm they cause to the case in other ways. The decision whether to hire an expert and which expert to hire is an important part of trial strategy.
The benefits of having an expert witness testify on your behalf during trial include explaining complex facts to a jury. Expert witnesses in Oak Lawn car accident cases are not required, but both sides make common use of them. An expert witness may often be the deciding factor in a case. If one side in the case gets an expert witness, it is common for the other side to hire their own expert to counter the opinion. Whether an accident reconstructionist or a doctor, the expert could make the evidence much easier for the jury to understand.