Five Things You Need To Know About Choosing Expert Witnesses For A Personal Injury Case

Posted on: 13 November 2014


If you are trying to get compensation for an injury caused by another party's negligence, you may need an expert witness to speak at your trial. An expert witness helps you to get the compensation you deserve by showing the court how serious your injuries are and explaining how long your recovery will take. However, not every expert witness is the same.

Here are five points to keep in mind to ensure that you get the most effective expert witness for your case:

1. Your attorney is an essential contact for meeting expert witnesses.

Typically, your attorney, like those at Kiernan Personal Injury Attorneys PA, is the point of contact through which you meet expert witnesses. Ideally, you want to hire an attorney who has an extensive list of expert witnesses. Your attorney should be part of a network of reputable witnesses with great credentials.

2. Credentials are key when it comes to expert witnesses.

Expert witnesses answer questions about your injury, recovery time, medical equipment and supplies, operations, medications and more. In order to answer these questions accurately, these witnesses need the appropriate credentials. Their credentials should include a medical degree with your type of injury being their area of speciality. If they don't have the right credentials, they may be discredited by the other attorneys.

3. Expert witnesses should not have conflicts of interest.

To ensure their objectivity, your expert witnesses should not have conflicts of interest with your case. Some possible conflicts you should keep an eye out for include being friends with the defendant, working for the hospital or insurance company involved in the case or having significant stocks or ownership in one of the entities involved in the case. If your expert witness would profit from your losing the case, it will be hard if not impossible for that witness to be objective on the stand.

4. Expert witnesses need to have experience with questioning.

Your expert witness is going to be asked questions by both legal teams, and he or she needs to be willing to stand up to the pressure. You don't want an expert witness to say that your back pain is debilitating and then have them retract that statement when the questions from the other side get tough.

5. Looks are also important.

Your expert witness doesn't need to be a supermodel, but he or she does need to be well presented. The courts take witnesses more seriously when they are clean, well dressed and appropriately presented. If you don't think that the expert witness will impress the courts, talk with your lawyer about exploring other options or talking with other witnesses.