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What is an expert witness?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2020 | blog

In a lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorney has to prove the case. In order to prove the case, you are going to need an expert witness. According to the Academy of Experts, this is somebody who has expertise in a specific area and who can help you prove your case. For example, if you were involved in an auto accident and had a torn rotator cuff, how are you going to prove that the torn rotator cuff is linked to the accident? 

Normally, you can find a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who is willing to testify. The surgeon should be good at testifying. He or she should look at the prior records, look at the history of the accident, look at the surgical records and say to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the proximate cause of the rotator cuff surgery was the specific auto accident. 

Another example would be if you can no longer work as a result of the accident. In this case, you will try to prove future lost wages. You can start by hiring somebody called a vocationalist. The vocationalist would indicate, based on the functional capacity exam of the injured person and based on the medical records, that there is only certain jobs that would be available for you and they would basically indicate what the decrease in your future earnings would be. Then you would take that information and the medical records and send it to an economist who would put down the present value of your future economic loss. 

Another example might be an auto accident where there is a dispute on how the auto accident happened. In this situation, you can use somebody called an accident reconstructionist. The accident reconstructionist is a professional expert witness that will put the accident together and testify to a reasonable degree of engineering certainty what the cause of the accident was and how the accident happened.