Expert Witnesses in Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Cases 

As defined by Virginia law, expert witnesses in Virginia nursing home abuse cases are a core part of all civil litigation, especially injury litigation of medical malpractice and not limited to nursing home litigation. Individuals must have certain special skills and knowledge that an ordinary person does not.

There is a list of ways that someone qualifies as an expert witness in a Virginia case. It may be vital to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer regarding whether to seek the help from an expert witness for the defense. Their qualifications include education, experience, having a skill or knowledge that assists the finder of fact. 

Suggested Expert Witnesses

There are two different categories for expert witnesses in Virginia nursing home abuse cases that go to causation. This mans they tie in the observations and the claims to the negligent party, and expert witnesses for the calculation and determination of damages.

Expert witnesses of causation may be experts in the nursing home field, like medical administrators, doctors, and individuals that can say that the standard of care or the breach of that duty of care caused the injuries that the plaintiff is claiming. They may have experience in nursing home practice procedures and in how things should be done.

Maybe it is a nurse or doctor who is qualified as an expert based upon their specialized training and experience in testimonies. All of these individuals may come into play in determining causation and liability in a nursing home injury context.

Help Calculating Damages

Other expert witnesses in Virginia nursing home abuse cases may be those that could help calculate damages. They may also have expert witnesses that can talk about grief or other types of non-economic damages. They may be experts that could talk about a future care plan and a life plan as well as how they came up with their calculations, how those calculations are reliable, and how they can assist a fact-finder for just choosing a range of numbers.

Becoming an Expert Witness

When an attorney seeks to introduce someone as an expert witness, it is known as qualifying. Qualifying an expert witness can be done in a number of ways. It is done by laying an appropriate foundation before the court as to the person’s background, education, training, experience, and any prior qualifications on similar grounds.

If an attorney cannot utilize expert witnesses in Virginia nursing home cases, an attorney may use the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court to lay a foundation for a person to be qualified as an expert.

Qualifying as an Expert

Whether or not someone qualifies as an expert is a decision for the judge in their gatekeeper function. They are in control of evidence and opinion evidence that comes in. At its foundation, it is largely to who an expert witness is or offering as opinion evidence, so the judge will hear that and determine whether or not they feel the person can appropriately assist the finder of fact.

Impact of a Witness

Expert witnesses are a very important part of any civil litigation to explaining the extent of the injuries in that either they were not a result of their client’s negligence or they were not as bad as the person is claiming. The injured party may try to use experts to both counteract the defense’s experts and link all of the chains so that it may be something beyond the purview of an ordinary person.

Benefit of an Attorney

An attorney who has significant relationships with expert witnesses can be helpful in a number of ways. They can help streamline the process, ensuring the time is spent on trial preparation in other aspects of the case rather than interviewing and evaluating potential expert witnesses. An attorney can evaluate the strengths of the case and present them to the client before preparing their case.