Expert Witnesses in Maryland Personal Injury Trials

It is common for the parties in a personal injury case to call on expert witnesses in trial. Expert witnesses can provide testimony regarding specific elements of a case in which they have particular expertise. Which witnesses will be particularly useful will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, but there is usually some area or aspect of the case where an expert witness can provide beneficial testimony. An experienced personal injury attorney in Maryland can help a claimant in a personal injury trial decide which expert witnesses would be the most beneficial to their case, and, depending on cost, which expert witnesses they should choose to work with.

Defining an Expert Witness

An expert witness is a person who is deemed qualified as an expert in his or her field of expertise. The unique factor of an expert witness is that once the witness is qualified as an expert, he or she can then offer opinion testimony, whereas all other witnesses must rely upon their personal knowledge as it relates to what they saw or heard. A non-expert witness cannot offer opinions in trials.

Becoming an expert witness requires already having expert knowledge in a particular field. As such, a person becomes an expert witness typically as a result of their accumulated knowledge, training and experience in a particular area of study.

Types of Expert Witnesses in a Personal Injury Case

Some of the most common expert witnesses used in Maryland personal injury cases include medical experts, mental health experts, accident reconstruction experts, and economic experts.

In almost all personal injury cases, when the matter proceeds to trial, an attorney will present expert medical testimony through a physician. The physician will opine as to the nature and extent of injuries as well as the fairness and the reasonableness of the medical bills and treatment rendered for the injuries.

Other factors may come in to play in regards to each individual case, such as obtaining the services of a qualified accident reconstructionist or some other expert witness who can offer opinion testimony regarding the applicable standards of care or any other important factors that goes into prosecuting a claim.

Expert witnesses are typically necessary in properly presenting the claim and must be used according to the court’s rule. Courts hold expert witness testimony in high regard, and an expert witness can potentially play a huge role in the outcome of a trial. However, expert witnesses can be very costly due to their preparation and testimony time. As a means of keeping costs to a minimum, an expert witness should not be used unless deemed necessary.

How an Experienced Maryland Attorney Finds Experts

Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney has a number of benefits irrelevant to what experts they may know. However, working with some lawyers also provides the benefit of knowing which expert witnesses will be necessary in presenting the claim. If the attorney has worked with the expert witness before, there is some familiarity between the witness and the attorney which can help in presenting smooth testimony at trial, which is also beneficial.