When Do I Need An Expert Witness?

August 9, 2014

As Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyers, we regularly deal with expert witnesses.  Whether consulting experts to testify on behalf of our clients or cross-examining experts paid to testify by the defendant, expert witnesses are an integral part of any medical malpractice claim.  What many non-lawyers do not realize, though, is that expert testimony is not limited to medical malpractice cases.  Testimony from an expert witness may be useful or necessary in a wide variety of personal injury cases.

Who is an Expert?

Under Ohio law, a person is an expert if he or she has specialized knowledge, skill, experience, training or education regarding a subject that is beyond the understanding of lay persons.  Anyone from an engineer to a security guard to an auto mechanic may be an expert on a particular subject, as long as they can demonstrate their expertise on a particular issue.

When Should I Have an Expert Testify?

There are many times when expert testimony may be helpful to your case.  In product liability cases, an expert witness can be useful to describe how or why a product malfunctioned.  They also frequently testify about alternative product designs that would have prevented a victim’s personal injuries.  In car accident and other motor vehicle crash cases, an expert witness may offer opinions relating to the cause of the accident, auto defects, or negligent maintenance.   And in any personal injury case, it may be necessary to obtain expert testimony regarding the extent of the physical and property damages or the long-term economic losses that result from your injuries.

These are just a few examples of when expert witness testimony may be useful or necessary.  As with most legal issues, though, the question of when you should have an expert testify is fact specific.  Whether an expert may testify and whether it makes financial sense for a plaintiff to consult an expert are questions that can only be properly assessed by an experienced personal injury attorney.

If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of medical malpractice or negligence, contact the Cleveland personal injury lawyers at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free telephone consultation.

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