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Powerful and Persuasive Types of Personal Injury Expert Witnesses



What Is a Personal Injury Witness?

Personal injury expert witnesses are types of professionals who provide advice on topics including the following:

  • personal injuries
  • personal injury evaluations
  • personal injury coverage

They are qualified by the court system to provide expert testimony in personal injury trials. The expert witness may be qualified to serve through his or her academic training, practical work experience, or board certification, among other types of credentials.

In the personal injury context, both parties in the litigation frequently need to call expert witnesses to prove an element or aspect of their case. Personal injury litigation often centers upon the testimony of battling or dueling expert witnesses in medical and/or other fields.

Types of Personal Injury Expert Witnesses:

There are several different types of personal injury expert witnesses. The following types of expert witnesses are commonly retained and used in personal injury cases:

  • doctors
  • engineers (such as automotive, mechanical, or equipment)
  • product developers
  • psychiatrists
  • forensics experts
  • medical professionals and providers
  • mental health experts or psychologists
  • law officers

Nearly all personal injury cases involve some aspect of medical expert witness testimony because of the injuries that result. Some states even require the retention of a medical expert witness prior to a plaintiff even starting a suit.

What Do Expert Witnesses Do?

Regardless of the type of expert witness, in order to be deemed an expert, the expert witness candidate must do several things. First, he or she must be qualified to render an opinion in a given field. Second, the expert must also possess an opinion that is deemed reliable in a particular field.

The parties must disclose, through the discovery and pre-trial preparation process, the testimony of their respective expert witnesses. This has to happen before the expert is called to the stand during trial. The early disclosure of expert witness testimony allows the other litigants to depose the expert and to retain and provide rebuttal expert witness testimony of their own, as appropriate. The failure to properly, timely, and adequately disclose expert witness testimony can lead to exclusion of the expert, dismissal of the case, or early disposition of the case (such as through summary judgment), as a punitive measure.

Expert witnesses in the personal injury field are responsible for providing information that substantiates a portion of a litigant's case and, in so doing, helps that litigant to prove his or her case. These witnesses give testimony based upon their knowledge base, acquired through sources such as education, training, work experience, and the like. Expert witnesses also prepare written reports and testimony for depositions and trial on personal injury claims, liability, job injuries, and similar topics.