Several Ways Expert Witnesses Can Hurt Your Personal Injury Case
Like most cases, having expert witnesses on your side can go a long way for making or breaking your case. Their testimony often serves as essential evidence you need to demonstrate negligence on the part of the defendant and win the damages you’re seeking. Unfortunately, these witnesses aren’t always helpful.
At times, witness testimony can be downright harmful to your case, and there are quite a few different ways this can happen. Make a conscious effort to avoid this in your case with the help of a personal injury attorney in Monterey. Learn about several ways expert witnesses can hurt your personal injury case, and discover how a Monterey personal injury attorney can help.
Are Expert Witnesses Required?
In theory, nothing in particular is required for your case other than demonstration of negligence on the part of the defendant, but that can sometimes be hard to do without expert witness testimony. Plenty of personal injury cases simply rely on personal claims made by the plaintiff and defendant without witness corroboration, and that’s often not good enough.
Expert witnesses are especially important if your case involves some sort of technical explanation to demonstrate liability. This can include medical experts explaining your injuries and prognosis or engineers explaining how a vehicle was faulty. Not only are expert descriptions very detailed, but experts are considered more reputable, which leads to their testimony having a much greater impact than testimonies by the average witness.
Not Working With Your Attorney
An expert witness that can testify to the extent and cause of your injuries can be incredibly helpful, but every witness needs to be working in complete sync with your attorney. Even finding an expert witness can be tough without an attorney. They’re the ones with the experience vetting and preparing potential witnesses to testify on your behalf. The real problems, however, start when the witnesses are on the stand, and there are quite a few ways this can go wrong.
Appearing as a Hired Voice
While an expert witness is generally more believable than the average person, people can become skeptical if they view the witness as someone simply being paid to say what you want. Defense attorneys will hone in on this point very quickly, so it’s important they are willing to address their payment with your attorney early on in the examination. They need to be factual and transparent about it.
Being an Uncompromising Yes Man
When it comes to expert witnesses, you’re going to want testimony that will help your case, but merely giving your attorney the answers they want isn’t going to help anything. If expert witnesses seem too eager to agree with everything your attorney says, jurors are going to be skeptical. You need to make sure your expert witness provides honest and neutral testimony. The facts themselves need to speak for you, and the right personal injury attorney in Monterey will know the right questions to ask.
Facts are unchanging, but the way facts are perceived can change significantly. Finding the balance between the facts and how they’re perceived is key to properly preparing an expert witness. A good attorney will be able to find this balance with any potential expert witness, so you get testimony that will push you closer to getting the damages you’re owed. Remember, the witness’s job isn’t to agree with what your attorney says. Their job is to relay facts. Your attorney then uses those facts to make an argument.
Getting Too Technical
Communication is one of the most important skills in life overall, but it’s especially important in a courtroom. Expert witnesses excel in their field of study and are intimately familiar with the technical terms and explanations that the average person wouldn’t understand easily. Unfortunately, some expert witnesses don’t know how to diverge from these technical explanations, rendering their testimony virtually useless since the average juror can’t understand it.
Personal Injury Attorney Monterey
The best way to make sure your expert witness doesn’t break your case is with the help of an experienced Monterey personal injury attorney. For expertise you can count on, look no further than the Dunnion Law Firm. With our history of success and aggressive approach to legal challenges, you can be sure that your case is in good hands. You don’t even have to pay us until we win your case. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’ve been in an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Author: Chris Bandas, Esq.