The Role of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

May 27, 2024

By: Roland Kuehn

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When an injured person brings a personal injury lawsuit, they must provide evidence in order to prove their claims. This evidence can take many forms, including medical records and other written documents, photographs, videos, and oral testimony. Witnesses can answer questions under oath, but one thing they are not allowed to do is give opinion evidence. Opinions can only be given by witnesses who have the proper education, experience, and expertise to provide the judge and jury with a “ready-made” opinion that they would not have been able to form themselves.


In personal injury litigation, expert witnesses are key players and are routinely asked to provide their opinions on important issues in the case. An engineer may be asked to provide a report on exactly how a car accident occurred. An orthopedic surgeon or physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor may be asked to provide a diagnosis and prognosis for a person’s injuries. An accountant could calculate the exact income loss a person can be expected to sustain when they are unable to continue working. A life care planner can assist in determining what treatment a person will need in the future and how much that treatment will cost.


At trial, both the plaintiff and defendant typically rely on the reports and testimony of their chosen experts in an effort to persuade the judge and jury that their position is the correct one. An effective expert witness must have both the qualifications to make them an authority on those matters and the ability to withstand scrutiny under cross-examination.


An experienced personal injury lawyer can identify the appropriate experts to engage in order to maximize the likelihood of a positive result in a lawsuit.

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