An expert witness is someone with extensive knowledge or experience in a field relevant to any part of the personal injury case. In almost every case that goes to trial or arbitration, both the injured party (the plaintiff) and the defense call one or more expert witnesses to support or refute the case's claims. The role of an expert witness in a personal injury lawsuit is to provide clarity. This is usually done by testifying before a jury.
Generally, both legal teams have the opportunity to question the expert witness just as they would with any other witness. The questions generally refer to the witness's area of expertise as it relates to the accident. Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler LP,. Once an expert is retained, informed, firewood removed, appointed and deposed, it costs several thousand dollars.
It would be a financial loss for any company to disqualify the expert just before trial and could spell disaster for a client's case. A lawyer who hires an expert must determine the admissibility of that expert's opinions. This document will examine how trial and appellate courts have recently treated experts in premises liability cases. It will also explore strategies for using experts in identifying possible parties, developing theories of responsibility, and the discovery process.
Finally, the document includes a discussion of general strategies for retaining and excluding experts. There are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to hire an expert in a facilities liability case. Since experts are expensive, it is necessary to consider the total potential cost of the expert compared to the possible recovery of your client. Also consider whether you can use people who already have personal knowledge of the incident instead of paying for a hired expert.
Sometimes, treating doctors, first responders (that is,. Finally, consider the nature of your case and the complexity of the issues in question. The cost of an expert may not be justified when the issues before the prospective jury are not complex. Remember that the rules of evidence establish standards for the admissibility of experts, one of which is usefulness to the jury.
Therefore, consider if the issues in your case are those that a lay person could understand when the evidence is clearly presented to them. If there are complexities related to policy, design, medical causation, or other areas outside of general public knowledge, you probably need an expert. Once you decide that you need an expert, you'll need to determine what type of expert you need. To do this, you'll need a clear understanding of exactly what issues you're looking to test with expert testimony.
Once you have that understanding, start thinking about the educational skills, experience, and training that an expert in that particular area would need. Remember that experts must be qualified for their education, training, skill, experience, or knowledge in the area in which you seek to admit their testimony. Experts can also be useful in identifying possible parts. For example, an airport slip and fall expert can identify different people, employees and companies that would be present in the incident area.
That can include an independent cleaning company, and you may find out, discovering that the independent cleaning company has some guilt in the fall. As an additional note regarding slips and falls, if you discover that another customer was the source of a spill or other fall catalyst, you can file a general negligence lawsuit against that person. Such a negligence lawsuit would add to your liability claims against the property owner, and you may be able to seek compensation for damages from an existing homeowners insurance policy. Denied), a truck driver fell and injured his knee while trying to have his truck weighed on a truck scale and died three years later from septic shock caused by knee surgery.
The court found that expert testimony about the possible causes of the infection was not scientifically reliable. He explained that the expert was board certified only in orthopedic surgery and had no special training in internal medicine or infectious diseases, so the expert's testimony was speculative and scientifically unreliable. App. Corpus Christi August 31, 2001, pet.
Denied), a motel guest fell when she tripped over a step in the parking lot. The court determined that the expert's training, background and specialized knowledge qualified him to testify about the height of the step, compliance with the building code, whether it was unsafe, and alternative designs that could have made the step safer. The court explained that the expert had worked as a compliance consultant for almost 20 years before this case, had attended numerous training conferences that included training on facility evaluation, and was co-author of a municipal ordinance on fair housing to comply with access regulations for people with disabilities. In addition, he argued that the expert's testimony was about issues that would be useful to a jury because they were not within the common knowledge of the average jury.
The testimony presented concerned whether the step complied with the building code and whether a reasonable building owner would recognize that the step did not comply with the code and posed a hazard. Similarly, the court held that the expert witness's testimony met Robinson's test of reliability. Specifically, the expert's theories that the passage violated the building code and could have been made safer in an easy and economical way were easily verifiable, were subject to repetitions and contradictions, were not based on a subjective interpretation and the technique used was generally accepted by the scientific community. Thompson, 210 S, W, 3d, 601, 602 (text).
The court found that expert testimony did not prove that the city was aware of the dangerous condition, even though the woman presented evidence of falls reported earlier and knew that the bump could appear suddenly. Somehow, he reasoned that there was no knowledge, even though the expert did demonstrate that the employees were nearby and were passing over the deck in the hours before Thompson fell. The court justified its conclusion by stating that there was no evidence to show how long the bump had existed and, therefore, that the proximity of the employees did not demonstrate their real knowledge. The court concluded that expert testimony that Brookshire knew or should have known about the spill because a person of normal height, five feet and five inches or more, could have seen the spill from behind the counter of the delicatessen.
The court explained that the expert's statements did not show that any of the Brookshire employees were tall enough to see without a prescription or how long the spill had been on the floor, so the expert testimony did not create a genuine question of material fact. Denied), a nightclub customer was assaulted by other club customers. The appeals court found that the expert's testimony that the nightclub's security guards should have responded more quickly was not legally sufficient to prove immediate causation. He explained that the expert did not state that the guards could have responded faster or that, if they had responded faster, that Ford would not have been injured.
Denied), a woman filed a lawsuit after falling into the defendant's store. His expert stated that the step in question presented a “danger of tripping and falling”. The appellate court confirmed the admission of the testimony and determined that the expert was qualified based on his twenty years of experience as an inspector and advisor on property security issues. Dallas, June 28, 2001, no pets.
The court held that there was no evidence to show that Mobil should have been aware of the danger of criminal acts by third parties. The court explained that, while there had been a previous armed robbery, the time, date, or circumstances surrounding the robbery had not been demonstrated and, therefore, the previous robbery was not proven to be similar to the attack on Gonzales. The following are just a few of the many arguments for excluding expert testimony in the light of Daubert, Robinson, and the rules of evidence. These approaches, while helping to exclude unreliable testimonials, are important considerations for protecting your own experts from disqualification.
According to the common law approach, the testimony of a witness was limited to facts that the witness had first-hand knowledge of and cannot be based solely on rumors. Status, 754 S, W, 2d 422, 425 (text, application). Eastland (1988, arbitrated brief) (in which it is argued that a lay witness could not testify about the weight of a diamond that she herself had never weighed). The reason for this rule is to ensure that the witness has the necessary personal knowledge and is not based on rumors.
Schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team. After suffering a hit and run, I turned to Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler to get the legal assistance that I so badly needed. The Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler team worked hard for three years to resolve my complex legal matter and kept me informed throughout the process. In the end, Andy Sommerman managed to get the truck owner's insurance to pay the bills.
Our firm refers all of our personal injury cases to Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler. The customers we refer are treated professionally and are very satisfied with the settlement revenues they receive. Every time I receive a call related to a personal injury case, I refer them to Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler without reservation; I know they'll be in good hands. Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler, L, P.
The doctor of the victim of an injury can be called as an expert witness to detail the severity of the injury and the recommended treatments. Next, the personal injury lawyers at Roden Law in Charleston discuss expert witnesses and how they can help in an injury lawsuit. The possible use of expert witnesses is one of the many aspects of the case that your personal injury lawyer discusses with you as part of evaluating an injury claim. The information on this website from a personal injury law firm is not intended to be taken as legal advice.
If you have a personal injury claim, it may be necessary for an expert witness to testify about the cause of the accident or the extent of your injuries. .