Every trial and court case is unique, with evidence of varying strengths used to determine the guilty or innocent party. Whether you’re the defendant or plaintiff, you’re likely wondering how you can make sure your case is as strong as possible. While having an experienced lawyer undoubtedly helps, so too can having an expert witness. Learn more about the part they play in state and federal cases and why they might be an essential addition to your case.
They Can Serve As Intermediaries
Someone who provides expert testimony services can be an objective party nestled between a defendant and a plaintiff. Their job is to provide background information, context, and even explanations for scientific principles that explain a particular part of the case. An example of this would be licensed engineers who aid in risk assessments being able to explain how something happened.
Unlike lay witnesses who were present at the scene of an accident or crime and can’t be handpicked, expert witnesses can be. As long as they abide by the evidentiary standards, lawyers can pick a witness that has the necessary experience for their case.
They Can Evaluate Facts
In a courtroom, lay witnesses explain what they saw, heard, or witnessed at a scene involved in the case. If there is something they don’t know, they can say they don’t know or don’t recall. Alternatively, they can ask for the question to be repeated. In contrast, expert witnesses can use their objectivity to view facts from a case and build a fact-based picture around them. This is why experience matters in expert witness testimony – the most robust case is built from an expert being able to draw from their specialty to conduct tests, build models, and refer to academic literature – even when witness statements are limited.
They Don’t Have to Be Specific Experts
It’s unlikely that any legal team would be able to find an expert witness that makes a living from examining the paint chips of one particular vehicle make and model. You may even struggle to find a medical expert who specializes in every single injury you suffered in an accident. Fortunately, you may be able to strengthen your case by merely requesting a witness that can use their broad knowledge of something to paint an accurate picture for a judge and jury.
They Understand the Court Process
Since expert witnesses are trained to be a part of disputes and legal matters, they have a firm understanding of what is required of them. They understand the court process and their role within it and are confident to stand in front of a jury and give a fact-based view. While lay witnesses can be relied upon in most situations to provide an overview of what happened, an expert witness can dive much deeper and build from base information to form a more complete picture.
Even if you are unsure if your case calls for an expert witness, it can be worth asking the question. Review the case information, talk to your legal team, and determine if their expert information could prove valuable to strengthen your case.