Calgary Personal Injury Lawyers on the Role of Expert Witnesses in Trials

Presenting clear explanations to the court and jury is necessary for personal injury law cases. Expert witnesses step in at this point to offer their perspectives, which can significantly impact the verdict in a trial. 

Anyone involved in a personal injury case must understand the importance of these experts’ roles alongside reliable Calgary personal injury lawyers.

Expert Witness in a Court of Law

An individual possessing extensive knowledge, training, abilities, education, or experience beyond the average is deemed an expert witness.

Expert witnesses can be called upon to testify in both federal and state courts to help the judge and jury make a decision.

When the ordinary person lacks the necessary expertise to understand a complicated topic, an expert witness could explain, clarify, and offer their viewpoint. 

A competent expert witness can simplify complex issues and technical terms to benefit the jury and the public. Claims for accident injuries can also be evaluated with the assistance of expert witnesses.

Role to Clients

Expert witnesses in advisory roles can greatly assist clients by guiding them toward the most advantageous calculation techniques.  They provide ballpark figures for potential losses as a first step in handling a serious personal injury case. They change the dynamic of court proceedings with their thorough and essential case guidance.

Types of Expert Witnesses

Finding an expert witness requires some background knowledge of the different kinds of expertise and their services. You need the following kinds of expert witnesses to support your personal injury claim:

  • Medical Experts
  • Forensic Experts
  • Engineering Experts
  • Financial Experts
  • Psychiatric or Psychological Experts
  • Computer and Digital Forensics Expert
  • Handwriting and Document Experts
  • Accident Reconstruction Experts
  • Environmental Experts
  • Real Estate and Appraisal Experts
  • Linguistic Experts
  • Human Factors Experts
  • Intellectual Property Experts
  • Vocational Experts
  • Social Work and Child Custody Experts

Expert Witnesses As Critical Asset in Personal Injury Cases

Benefit Impact
Enhancing Credibility A well-informed expert witness can strengthen the plaintiff’s case. Their testimony may determine the difference between a winning personal injury claim and a losing claim if the facts are highly disputable.
Clarifying Complex Medical Terms Medical concerns form the basis of personal injury claims. Medical experts and other expert witnesses can provide light on accident victims’ injuries’ full scope and implications. 
By simplifying medical terminology, they help the jury better understand the victim’s condition and its impact on their lives.
Establishing Standard of Care and Negligence Witnesses with the appropriate level of caution can be useful in personal injury claims or cases where carelessness plays a significant role. 
For example, a traffic analyst could describe how drivers are likely to act in specific traffic situations, or an engineering expert could testify on whether or not a product is safe to use.
Assessing Long-term Impacts Damages that last a long time or are irreversible are not always easy to put a price on. 
Personal injury lawyers, life care planners, and vocational therapists are experts who may help accident victims understand their future care needs, the impact on their quality of life, and any potential loss of earnings.
Contributing to Damage Calculations Personal injury claims involve complicated damage calculations. If you need assistance figuring out how much money injuries sustained will cost—including  lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering—consult an injury lawyer or an expert in actuarial science or economics.

Key Considerations for Choosing an Expert Witness

An important decision that can greatly affect the result of a lawsuit is selecting personal injury lawyers and an expert witness. Choose the right expert witness with these key considerations:

Relevant Expertise Area of Focus: Verify that the expert’s expertise is relevant to the case.Practical Experience: Look for professionals with hands-on experience in their field.
Credentials and Qualifications Education: Verify their academic background and any relevant certifications.Status in the Field: Verify if they are a part of any notable groups or organizations.
Communication Skills Clarity: The expert’s communication skills should allow them to break down difficult subjects for an audience that lacks technical knowledge.Confidence: Search for a witness who maintains composure when questioned directly.
Experience as an Expert Witness Background in the Courtroom: Having worked in the legal field before can be helpful.Performance History: Look at their proven track record with similar cases and how they affected the results of the legal process.
Impartiality and Professionalism Integrity: A qualified expert witness should present their findings without bias.Ethical Standards: Ensure they adhere to the highest professional ethics.
Availability and Location Timeline: Ensure they are available to participate in the court proceedings of your injury claim.Geographical Proximity: Consider travel requirements and any jurisdictional issues.

The Impact of Expert Witnesses: Real-Life Cases

Preater v Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board [2022]

Preater v. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board [2022] was a clinical negligence case that centered around charges of basic dishonesty and the insertion of a vaginal mesh. The pain specialists presented by both sides were “persuasive and compelling,” the judge remarked. 

The judge said there was “balanced and considered” testimony from the plaintiff’s pain expert. The witness expert also remained composed and reasonable during cross-examination. 

He gave a compelling account of the defendant’s agony, and the expert witness testified with great poise and thoughtfulness. He made reasonable compromises to give a balanced viewpoint, which impressed the judge. 

Palmer v Mantas & Liverpool Victoria Insurance [2022] 

The compensation claim was filed when the defendant hit the rear of the claimant’s stationary car on the M25 motorway.  Anthony Meltzer KC granted £1.6 million damages and criticized two of the second defendant’s experts’ testimonies.

The Judge found the second defendant’s expert report judgmental and harsh, and her references to the claimant as “self-pitying” and “histrionic” were unnecessary and inappropriate. The judge stated that the expert’s statement was improper and demonstrated unintentional bias during the trial.

Calgary Personal Injury Lawyers

It is just as critical to have a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer who can collaborate with these experts. They are skilled at finding credible experts to support a case and effectively presenting their findings. Remember that there is great power in the legal field regarding knowledge, and expert witnesses offer just that.

An expert witness is an important resource in the personal injury litigation scene. Whether in car accident claims, hit-and-run accidents, or motor vehicle accidents, they provide the case more weight and credibility while clarifying complicated topics for decision-makers. 

Experience the support you need with Sidhu Personal Injury Lawyers Calgary. Contact us for a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury lawyer. 

If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, faced serious personal injury, or experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, call our law firm today for expert assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will do

Will not do

  • Follow instructions to provide an objective expert opinion on the subject. The other side and the Court will see these instructions in the Expert Witness’s Report.
  • Deliver the opinion as a report or evidence to a court or panel. Expert testimony tends to be impossible without the report.
  • Make sure the Expert’s Report includes Court-mandated information. 
  • Follow case-specific procedure guidelines and court or tribunal orders.
  • Offer honest, impartial, and independent opinions, regardless of your case.
  • Expert witnesses owe the Court top priority. This obligation outweighs yours.
  • The Court expects expert witnesses to be unbiased and will disregard partisan testimony.
  • They will not find evidence, seek justice, or suggest a case for you. You or your lawyers must argue your argument.
  • Give opinions beyond their competence.
  • Accept any conflict-of-interest appointment (unless disclosed).
  • Accept appointments based on case results. Success fees and conditional fee arrangements are examples. 
  • Conduct negotiations.

An expert’s report is meant to explain the expert’s perspective on topics that fall under their area of expertise and have been specifically requested. Ultimately, the report aims to educate the court about issues beyond its area of competence that it must decide on to settle the case. 

As a general rule, witnesses should only testify about things that they are personally knowledgeable about. Opinions or belief evidence cannot be accepted. When an expert is called upon to testify as a witness in court, their opinion might be used as evidence. 

Expert reports are inadmissible unless the expert presents grounds for his conclusion and the opposite party cross-examines his evidence. However, the law has eliminated the examination of some scientific experts to save the time and cost of hiring experts.

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