Expert Witnesses in Civil Lawsuits
An expert witness is a witness who has special knowledge of a subject beyond the knowledge of an average person. Because of his or her education, training or experience, an expert witness's testimony will be allowed to assist the jury or the court in determining the facts in a lawsuit.
An expert witness is allowed to testify about facts and is permitted to give an opinion or conclusion about the facts. The jury can accept or reject the expert's opinion. In contrast, non-expert witnesses are only allowed to testify about facts they have observed; normally, they cannot give opinions about such facts. Both parties in a civil lawsuit can call expert witnesses, and the court itself can hire an expert witness. The court decides whether expert witness testimony is admissible on a particular subject. Expert witnesses frequently testify in medical malpractice suits against doctors, in personal injury suits, and in worker's compensation cases.
Expert Witness Fees
Experts are paid an hourly fee usually for their time and witness fees for testifying at trial.
How to Find an Expert
Expert witnesses can be located through professional organizations, expert witness directories, and referral services. The Internet also offers databases of expert witnesses.
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