Testimony provided by expert witness is not free, and their fees can add to the cost of the case considerably. However, a thoughtful and well-developed opinion of an expert can be the turning point in litigation, especially in personal injury cases. Expert witnesses are particularly required in cases where complex medical or highly technical or engineering issues are involved. Therefore, for bolstering your claim you might need the help of a specialist doctor, scientist, or an engineer.
Who is this person?
For an expert witness to be effective, it is important to establish the credentials, education, and overall expertise of the person in the concerned topic or subject. At the trial, the expert witness will have to provide information regarding his or her education, credentials, background, experience in the field, current profession and so on.
The opposing lawyer will try to poke holes in the credibility of the expert witness and whether he or she is qualified enough to address the topic. Hence, even if the person is an expert in the field, he or she should be able to counter the attack of the opposing lawyer by answering effectively to all questions.
Retained and Non-Retained Expert Witness
An expert witness who is retained will be an expert who does not know the party before the case was filed, and is engaged mainly for the purpose of creating a report and providing testimony at the trial. On the other hand, a non-retained expert witness would have been involved with the party prior to the case, and his or her expert opinion will be founded on information collected during their relationship.
A marvelous example of non-retained expert witness would be the physician of the victim, who has been the person’s physician for a long duration before the current case.