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Why is a Competent Expert So Important in Your Personal Injury Case

A speedometer or gauge tracking your progress in learning a skill, going from the level of amateur or novice to expert
A speedometer or gauge is tracking your progress. Learning a skill, going from the level of amateur or novice to expert

Expert testimony is essential in almost all criminal and civil cases brought before a trial by judge or jury. This is because the attorney has a moral and legal duty to present the best possible case on behalf of their client.

The one way to do this is to provide the court with clear analyses of the evidence by an expert in the field of whatever type of proof is their specialty. In many cases, experts are required to prove elements of some instances.

Beyond that, an expert can be invaluable when it comes to honing a case for trial. For example, an expert can assist in preparation for the cross-examination of defense experts in their field.

The functions of this type of specialist can make a claim stronger, by helping explain the evidence in a manner that is understandable and ultimately proves the plaintiff’s side of the case, over the event of the defendant.

In particular, the personal injury lawyer has a big responsibility to ensure that the expert they choose has a flawless record within their field of expertise, they have not had any issues with their licensing or been punished by the licensing board. Injury cases are already often viewed as suspicious by the public. This is due to harmful insurance company ads, as well as bad apples in the injury law field itself historically.

After all, the terms “scumbag” and “PI Lawyer” go hand in hand with a lot of lawyer jokes.  And we all hear these cracks in passing conversations in the halls of court. Any issue with the background of the person specializing in a particular area of expertise will be used by the defense against the plaintiff’s case.

Obviously, hiring the wrong expert only serves to further disparage the already shady reputations of many trial lawyers in the eyes of everyone in the courtroom. Hiring the right expert conversely, can make the plaintiff and their case in chief shine.

There are questions the legal advocate should ask any expert they plan to use in a civil lawsuit, including:

  • How long they have held a license in the field, they specialize.
  • Have they published any peer review articles or papers and how were they received?
  • How many cases have they testified in and had their testimony been limited or thrown out?

These are just a few questions that should be asked, along with others that will prove they are the person who will be able to strengthen a lawsuit and the evidence. It is up to the lawyer to do their homework in choosing the right individual specializing in providing testimony on evidence in a case.

The already tarnished image of injury cases and lawyers, in general, makes it especially important to obtain experts who are above reproach. Doing so is one of the most important aspects of managing a case.


Michael Ehline - PI Law Tutorials

Michael Ehline is a highly trained personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, CA. He writes educational articles to help injured consumers.

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