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When Do You Need an Expert Witness?


June 22, 2016


An authoritative and knowledgeable expert witness can provide the expertise to help you make a case.

There are several scenarios that require an expert. One scenario is when an expert is required by law.

Expert witnesses might be required by law within certain jurisdictions.

In specific types of cases, such as those involving negligence or malpractice, an expert is often required as a means of providing merit for the case. Examples are medical malpractice and attorney malpractice.

Another situation is when the case is so complex that it requires a subject-matter expert to educate the jury or the trier of facts.  Even if the expert witness was not required by law, the subject matter of some cases is simply too complex for a jury to understand. Examples included patent cases, mechanical failures, financial disputes, and industrial accidents.

For complex cases, the jury must have an understanding of the material in order to make an informed decision.

Lastly, an attorney might need to hire an expert witness to go head-to-head with an opposing expert. The opposing counsel might have a team of expert witnesses to support its case. An attorney must retain a rebuttal expert to dispute the testimony of the opposing expert.

In summation, there are three scenarios in which the services of an expert is needed:

  1. An expert witness is Required by Law
  2. A subject matter expert is needed to educate the jury or trier of facts
  3. An expert witness is needed to go against an opposing expert.

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