Expert Witnesses in DC Dog Bite Cases

Like other claims alleging personal injuries, medical expert witnesses in DC dog bite cases could play a crucial role. If someone is claiming injuries, they need a medical doctor to prove that the injuries were caused by the accident.

It may seem silly to require someone to come in just to testify that they do in fact think it was a dog bite that caused a particular gash. However, that is the requirement in DC, that one needs a medical expert to establish causation of any injuries claimed resulting out of an accident.

Role of an Expert Witness in a DC Dog Bite Trial

Economists and medical expert witnesses in DC dog bite cases can be beneficial to the outcome of the injured party’s case. There can also be dog control experts, such as in a case where a dog escaped confinement. Someone could bring in an expert to show what would have been a reasonable confinement to contain the particular dog. Generally, one would only have a medical expert come in to talk about medical causation as well as the costs of present and future care.

How an Expert Could Establish Fault

The only circumstance where expert witnesses in DC dog bite cases are considered useful is in establishing whether or not the dog or its owner was at fault due to lack of proper standard of care.

If it was simply a case where someone did not have the dog on a leash, an expert does not need to testify that having a dog on a leash makes it safe. That is something that lay jurors will understand.

However, if there is an allegation that a dog was improperly trained or cared for, that would be something one could use a standard of care expert for.

Most importantly, expert witness testimony is also required to establish the standard of care necessary for proper confinement.

Impact of Showing a Dog was Handled Negligently

In order for an expert witness to address the role played by the dog, there needs to be a really significant question about how the dog was handled in order to show that it was handled negligently. Most of the time, it will be something as obvious as the dog was not on a leash that does not require expert testimony.

Special Handling Circumstances

Unique issues do come up. For instance, there can be a dispute as to whether the type of leash used on a particular dog was adequate. An example could be if there was a very large dog that was contained by a cloth collar rather than a choker collar. Generally, most of these issues are deemed to be within the knowledge of a lay juror and do not require expert testimony.

Likelihood of Harming the Claimant’s Case

The defense can often times call expert witnesses in DC dog bite cases in an attempt to mitigate the amount of money a plaintiff is claiming for future medical care. An example could be where someone is claiming they need money for future care for rabies, and the defense could attempt to show that future medical care would not be necessary for rabies.

Another example could be where someone has lost a leg and is claiming to need compensation for the costs of future medical care. An expert witness could testify that a prosthetic leg is sufficient and that there is no need to cover the costs of any future medical care.