Expert Witnesses in DC Personal Injury Cases
An expert witness is a witness called to trial that is an expert in his or her field of study. Based upon the expert’s education, training, and experience, the expert is allowed to offer opinion testimony. Both the plaintiff side and defense side can call expert witnesses, and their testimony weighs heavily in court. They are recognized as specialists in their field and their opinion is given a great deal of trust by judges and jurors. This is why it is so important to find an experienced DC personal injury attorney who has relationships with respected and trusted expert witnesses.
Types of Expect Witnesses in DC Injury Cases
The type of expert witness used in a DC personal injury case depends upon the facts and circumstances of that case. In almost all cases in the District of Columbia, a medical expert witness is required to offer expert opinion testimony regarding the nature and extent of injuries sustained by the plaintiff and testimony regarding the fairness, reasonableness, and causal link of any related medical treatment incurred by the plaintiff.
Other experts, such as an economic expert or an accident reconstructionist, are used when the facts and circumstances of that individual case require.
Becoming an Expert Witness
A person does not just become an expert witness. Typically, a person is an expert in his or her particular field of expertise, be it a medical doctor, an economist, or an accident reconstructionist, as a result of the witnesses’ education, training, and experience. They will work in their particular field and be contacted by lawyers to offer expert witness testimony during a trial.
Benefit of Hiring an Experience DC Personal Injury Lawyer
The benefits of hiring a lawyer who has longstanding relationships with expert witnesses in the District of Columbia is that once the lawyer has worked with a particular expert, the lawyer has an understanding as to the strengths and weaknesses of that particular expert witness. For a lawyer who has years of experience practicing personal injury law in DC, they will know which expert witnesses are reliable and which aren’t. Experience garners a base of knowledge that cannot be replicated through other means.
It is possible for an expert witness to both support and harm a claim that someone has brought against a negligent party. Their word holds a lot of sway in court, which is why it is so important to have a base knowledge of the expert witnesses available.
When to Use a DC Expert Witness
Typically, a DC personal injury lawyer suggests using an expert witness because the lawyer understands that an expert witness is useful to explain the victim’s injuries and treatment to the jury. Furthermore, a lawyer with experience understands that in a certain circumstance, an accident reconstructionist or an economic expert witness is necessary to establish certain elements of the claim. They understand that not every juror has a specific knowledge of certain topics and might need a guiding hand to understanding. In such instances, an expert witness proves an invaluable resource.