Let’s say you have a personal injury case that involves some sort of specialized knowledge to prove the defendant did something wrong. This often happens in product liability cases. For example, you were injured by a defective airbag. Who will testify in court to how airbags work, and why and how yours didn’t work the way it was supposed to?
This is also the case with medical malpractice cases. If you want to argue that your doctor failed to act how a reasonable medical professional would have in the same circumstances, who will be there on the stand to say how a doctor should have acted, or that your doctor didn’t do something they were supposed to do?
Getting Experts for Your Case
In these cases, and many more, you need an expert. An expert can come from any number of fields. In many personal injury cases, doctors are experts, because we are trying to prove the nature and extent of someone’s injury. The same goes for medical malpractice cases.
However, experts can come from any number of fields. An expert is just that—someone who is, with their respective background, considered to have special expertise in a given field. An expert need not have any advanced degree. In fact, an expert doesn’t necessarily have to have graduated college at all. An expert simply needs to have specific and relevant provable knowledge surrounding the issue to which they are to testify.
An expert is also needed because your attorney themselves can’t testify. Even if your attorney researched, talked to specialists, and acquired all the knowledge in the world about a given field, your attorney is not a witness, nor considered an expert. You need a witness to provide the jury with the special relevant information needed.
When Would Experts Be Needed?
Some typical examples where an expert may be used include:
- If you are injured on a construction work site, a construction safety expert may be needed.
- In certain car accident cases, you might need an expert to testify about the safety functions of your vehicle, or about recalls from your car’s manufacturer.
- In negligent security cases, experts in security and safety may be needed.
- If a product doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, an engineer, or a designer of that product, may be needed to testify to how the product was supposed to work, and why it didn’t.
- In a nursing home case, an expert may be needed to explain to the jury what nursing home personnel are expected to do, and not to do.
- If you are injured on a ride in an amusement park, an engineer or someone who has expertise in designing/operating rides safely, may need to be called.
Not every expert can testify. Courts don’t want “junk science” in court. Generally, the expert must show that they came to their conclusions based on testing methods that are accepted in their community, and that the expert has properly applied their findings to your specific case.
In many cases, each side will try to exclude the other side’s experts from testifying. That’s why having good, reputable experts can be very important in your case.
Call TJ Smith today, Louisville’s premier accident and injury attorney, if you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, or in any kind of injury case. He’ll make ‘em pay!