What Is The Role Of An Expert Witness?
When it comes to calculating damages in a legal case, you often need an expert who is qualified and knowledgeable enough to develop an opinion. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with the jury, presenting the information in a way that is easy to understand so that a meaningful decision can be made.
The average person on a jury is not going to be an expert in medical billing, construction, or oil and gas contracts. So, if you are involved in a case that involves any of these topics, you will need to find an expert witness to testify on your behalf.
Experts For Plaintiffs And Defendants
An expert witness testifying about damages is critical to success in a civil case. This is because the most important part of any case is the evidence. This can include medical records, bills, and testimony from experts. Both sides will present their case using this evidence and the jury will hear from expert witnesses on both sides about the potential damages in this case.
A good plaintiff’s attorney will have several experts on hand who regularly testify about damages in their cases. This is because different experts are needed for different types of injuries due to different medical specialties. Having more than one expert witness helps ensure that all potential damages are covered. It is also essential for a defense attorney to have an expert who can testify about the many types of damage involved in a case. This is because the plaintiff’s attorney will likely present conflicting information.
Battle Of The Experts
In many injury cases, this results in what is known as the Battle of the Experts. Depending on the credibility of the witnesses and the strength of their evidence, either side may file a motion to disqualify the opposing expert’s testimony. The judge will then rule on whether to allow or exclude the testimony.
In a traffic accident, for example, the plaintiff may call on a physician to testify about the damages suffered and another expert to testify about the facts of the collision. The defense may also have experts who contradict the testimony of the plaintiff’s experts.
If the jury rules in favor of the plaintiff’s expert testimony, then this could be the turning point in their case. If the type of damage suffered by the plaintiff requires an expert to explain it to the jury, (and that expert is allowed to testify), then the jury may be more likely to rule in favor of the plaintiff. This could lead to a settlement in their favor. Without expert testimony, the plaintiff’s testimony and attorney’s argument are usually not enough to turn a damage award that is significant.
What Happens When Expert Testimony Is Excluded
If the trial court excludes the defense expert’s testimony, that means the jury will only hear testimony from the plaintiff’s side. The defense attorney can argue against the exclusion of expert testimony all they want, but without their own expert to contravene the plaintiff’s testimony, it motivates settlement right there.
A judge’s role in deciding which testimony or evidence to allow or exclude, as well as the attorneys’ competency and skill in assembling a case with expert testimony, can have a significant impact on the outcome of a lawsuit. Additionally, factors such as whether the expert witness is competent and has survived motions to dismiss their testimony can all play a part.
How Experts Help With Economic Damages In Personal Injury Cases
The medical expenses of an injured party are typically the largest focus when it comes to damages in a personal injury case. This includes not only past medical expenses up until the time of trial but any future medical costs that may result from ongoing injuries.
For example, if someone suffers a brain injury in an accident, they will likely incur significant treatment costs for the rest of their life. The economic expert must consider both the present and future medical costs of treating the injury. Disfigurement, loss of consortium, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and lost wages (past and future) are all relevant elements of damage.
Choosing The Right Expert First Is KEY
It’s crucial that you pick the right lawyer from the start if you want to have any chance in court. If your damage expert doesn’t do well under cross-examination, you won’t be able to simply bring in another one – you only get one shot. That’s why it’s so important to choose wisely from the beginning.
Additionally, if your expert’s credibility is undermined in court, you’re stuck with it. There’s no do-over. Even if a verdict is rendered and you decide to appeal, you can’t go out and find a new expert to testify on appeal.
For more information on Civil Claims Law in Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 714-0073 today.