Expert Witnesses in DC Nursing Home Abuse Trials

Expert witnesses can play a very key role in trials regarding nursing home abuse in DC. Typically, an expert witness is someone who has education or training which provides them the ability to formulate a knowledgeable opinion on a certain topic in court.

In the case of a nursing home abuse trial some things that the an expert witness can help with include explaining the national standard of care that a nursing home would need to abide by, and analyzing the specific case discussed in order to determine whether that national standard was followed or not. Other expert witnesses can discuss the injuries of an individual, and how much the resulting medical bills for the injuries may be.

Rules of civil procedure in superior court require that certain forms of testimony can only be used through the use of expert witness statements. Therefore, to conform to the rules and properly present the case, expert witnesses must be used. An attorney can put anybody on the stand as long as they are qualified and vetted by the court. To learn more about expert witnesses in DC nursing home abuse , contact a distinguished nursing home abuse lawyer.

Eyewitnesses v. Expert Witnesses

As defined by DC law, any person can qualify as an expert witness in any particular area of expertise. The use of expert witnesses is required by the rules. Typically, expert witnesses can be expensive and therefore, they are only used when absolutely necessary.

An expert witness is a witness that is qualified as an expert in his or her area of expertise and who may offer an opinion within a reasonable degree of probability within his or her area of expertise on a particular issue.

The fundamental difference between an expert witness and a non-expert witness is that a non-expert witness cannot offer opinion testimony, whereas an expert witness may provide testimony on a given subject within a reasonable degree of probability. In this way, expert witnesses can add significant value to an injured party’s case at trial.

In a D.C. nursing home abuse case, there will likely be an expert witness that will testify as to the requisite standard of care and how that standard of care has been breached. There will also be expert witness testimony from one witness or multiple witnesses regarding the nature and extent of the injuries sustained.

DC nursing home abuse expert witnesses can help determine the fair, reasonable, and customary treatment that has been rendered. Furthermore, there will be expert witness testimony regarding any ongoing or future medical treatment which was necessitated by the incident giving rise to the lawsuit.

Becoming An Expert Witness

Typically, a person becomes an expert witness through his or her education, knowledge, and experience in a particular field of expertise. Once a person has a requisite foundation, then they should be able to be qualified as an expert witness barring any outside issues.

The process varies, depending on the area of expertise. A person may go to school and obtain a certain degree or certificate in a particular area of expertise, while another witness may simply rely on years of experience and on-the-job training to become an expert in a particular field.

The court will evaluate the qualifications of the person applying to be expert witnesses in DC nursing home abuse and will make a determination as to whether that person has the requisite credentials in the specific area in which they are required to testify. The attorney offering a witness as an expert is required to lay the proper foundation and ask the court to accept the individual as an expert witness. The court will not question the witness, but the court will evaluate the foundation that has been laid by the offering attorney.

Potential Experts in a Nursing Abuse Trial

In a nursing home abuse case, the plaintiff’s lawyer will likely suggest at least two expert witnesses, if not more. The first expert witness will be used to testify regarding the national standard of care the subject nursing home should have afforded the injured person. The expert will then use the facts surrounding the injury to establish the breach of that national standard of care to the jury.

The second type of expert witness will testify regarding the nature and extent of injuries sustained by the patient. This medical expert will typically testify regarding the fairness, reasonableness, and causal relationship of the medical treatment for and bills related to the injuries sustained by the patient.

Importance of A Witness

Certain elements of a claim must be established through expert testimony. Therefore, the use of an expert is simply required by the court in order to perfect the claim at the trial. Because of this, the required expert testimony should be made known to the client. In the event that a settlement offer is made before a lawsuit is filed, this knowledge allows the client to evaluate the economics of engaging an expert witness during trial versus resolving the case through settlement, thus saving any expert witness-related costs.

Economic Experts

An economic expert is typically used to describe the present value of a certain item and what that value will be in the future. If the person is required to have a life care plan, there may be a need for DC nursing home abuse expert witnesses.

Generally, there is no lost earning capacity for a person in a nursing home nor is there any diminished earning capacity which will require an economic expert testimony.

Hiring an Attorney

The benefit to hiring an attorney that knows and understands the expert witness process is that the client can be assured that the attorney will take the necessary steps to properly present their case to the jury.

There is some benefit if an attorney has worked with a DC nursing home abuse expert witness before, but there is plenty of opportunity for the attorney and the witness to discuss the case in advance of trial and ensure that they are on the same page in terms of presenting the required testimony to properly present the claim.