Jan 4, 2019

Why is a Competent Expert So Important in Your Personal Injury Case?


Speedometer with needle pointing to Expert

Expert testimony is essential in almost all criminal and civil cases brought before a trial by judge or jury. This is because the attorney has a moral and legal duty to present the best possible case on behalf of their client.

One way to do this is to provide the court with clear analyses of the evidence by an expert in the field of whatever type of proof is their specialty. Sometimes experts must prove essential elements.

Beyond that, an expert can be invaluable when it comes to honing a case for trial. For example, an expert can assist in preparation for the cross-examination of defense experts in their field.

The functions of this type of specialist can make a claim stronger, by helping explain the evidence in a manner that is understandable and ultimately proves the plaintiff’s side of the case, over the event of the defendant.

Getting a Good Expert is a Big Deal.

In particular, the personal injury lawyer has a big responsibility to ensure that the expert they choose has a flawless record within their field of expertise, they have not had any issues with their licensing or been punished by the licensing board. Harmful insurance company ads, as well as bad apples, historically, have harmed the image of plaintiffs.

After all, the terms "scumbag" and "PI Lawyer" go hand in hand with a lot of lawyer jokes. And we all hear these cracks in passing conversations in the halls of court. A crummy expert is bad for your case.

Hiring the wrong expert only serves to further disparage the already shady reputations of many trial lawyers. Hiring the right expert conversely, can make the plaintiff and their case in chief shine.

There are questions the legal advocate should ask any expert they plan to use in a civil lawsuit, including:

  • How long they have held a license in the field, they specialize.
  • Have they published any peer-review articles or papers?
  • How many times have they testified? Was testimony limited or thrown out?

You need to know if they will be able to strengthen a lawsuit with evidence. It is up to the lawyer to choose the right specialist. You need winning testimony. Injury cases and lawyers have a tarnished image. So, in general, it makes it especially important to obtain experts who are above reproach. Doing so is one of the most critical aspects of managing a case.