Attorneys turn to expert witnesses to give testimony that will improve their chances of winning their cases in a variety of different circumstances. Below are three types of civil lawsuits where expert witnesses can have a big impact on the outcome of a case.
1 – Medical Malpractice
Testimony from medical experts is more of a must-have than a nice-to-have when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits. That’s because the evidence presented during these types of cases is often difficult for laypersons, like those sitting on a jury, to understand. The medical expert is often there to educate and to help the judge or jury to decipher the evidence presented in the case and help them make sense of it. And while the information itself may be complicated, the main role of the medical expert is straightforward. They are there to help the court to determine whether the doctor involved followed the standard of care for the patient, or whether the medical professional’s failure to follow the standard of care caused injury to the patient in question.
2 – Personal Injury
Expert testimony often plays a key role in personal injury lawsuits, which may or may not involve insurance companies. Several different experts may be called to testify in a single personal injury case, by both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s attorneys. The types of experts called can range from engineers and accident reconstruction experts to toxicologists and medical doctors. While both sides can use expert witness testimony to strengthen their cases, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff to prove that their injury was caused by the defendant.
3 – Use of Force Claims
Expert testimony is commonly sought in use of force claims against law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, private security firms, and similar organizations. Expert witnesses in these types of cases give testimony in their areas of expertise, such as police training, psychology, policies and procedures, and accepted standards of behavior. In use of force claims, it can be difficult to delineate between behavior by the law enforcement personnel that’s criminal and behavior that is standard and procedural. What the judge or jury is tasked with deciding is whether or not the defendant’s actions were reasonable, and the expert testimony can assist them in making this determination.
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