What Are the Different Kinds of Expert Witnesses?
Expert witnesses come in many forms. For every type of litigation, there are a number of expert witnesses who may have useful testimony or advice to offer. Experts can be used to help prepare for a case, identify potential claims, gather relevant evidence, or testify on behalf of a litigant. Below, we discuss some different types of experts and how their expertise can be utilized by litigants. If you have a civil case that touches on a matter requiring medical expertise, call a seasoned qualified medical expert for professional advice and assistance.
Medical experts are the quintessential expert witness. Medical experts can be called upon to advise on potential claims–e.g., whether malpractice may have occurred, the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, where to find relevant evidence–or to testify in favor of either side of the litigation on the issues of duty, breach, causation, or damages. Medical experts can evaluate the conduct of a fellow medical professional, testify as to the condition of a plaintiff, establish or refute a link between some stimuli (malpractice, toxic exposure, etc.) and a plaintiff’s injury, and/or the extent, long-term impact, and likely cost of a plaintiff’s injuries.
Vocational expert witnesses are typically utilized in cases involving disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will often deny benefits to a claimant because they believe the person can continue working despite their disability. During the appeals process, the SSA may call a vocational expert to offer their professional opinion as to whether the applicant is capable of working despite their illness or injury. The vocational expert will rely on a variety of factors including the physical and/or mental impairments suffered by the applicant, the transferable skills the applicant has developed from previous employments, and the job market in the applicant’s field or other related fields in which they may be qualified to work.
Financial, Accounting, and Securities Experts
Financial experts can be used in many different types of cases. They may be used in a divorce case, for example, to evaluate a party’s finances, track down foreign accounts, or determine whether a party has been hiding assets. They may offer advice or opinion on the potential tax implications of a transaction to a party or the court, how best to split retirement accounts, or conduct a valuation of a business or other complex asset.
Accounting experts may be utilized to follow paper trails and connect assets from one source to another, or identify or disprove alleged irregularities in financial statements or accounting. Financial experts can also be used in injury cases or other matters to calculate damages such as the present value of future lost income. Securities experts can help to identify irregularities in trading or determine if actions were fraudulent. They can opine on whether banks or other fiduciaries met their fiduciary duties in a transaction or course of business.
Science and Technical Experts
There is a wide range of technical experts who may be useful for advising on or testifying in a given matter. Engineers, automotive experts, programmers, physicists, or other scientific experts may be called upon to explain technical or scientific matters to the jury or assist litigants in building a case or defense. A software engineer, for example, may be called to opine on whether two different pieces of technology are so similar that one must infringe upon the intellectual property of another. Technical experts can also be utilized in advance of litigation to help build a case or track down important evidence, helping to craft documentary search terms and identify key pieces of evidence.
Forensic experts can offer opinions in civil or criminal cases on matters pertaining to physical evidence, such as the blood alcohol content of a drunk driver, the DNA of a homicide suspect, or whether a fire was caused by accident or intentional conduct. Although forensic experts are often utilized in criminal cases, their skills are valuable in a variety of civil matters as well.
If you need a qualified, thorough, and convincing expert witness in a personal injury, medical malpractice, or product liability case, contact the offices of Neurosurgery Medlegal Services, LLC, at 866-659-8051.