How to Get an Expert Witness
Expert testimony is a required element in many personal injury, medical malpractice, tort, and criminal cases. Without a qualified, intelligent, and effective expert in your corner, your case can easily fall to pieces. Many plaintiffs’ cases will be thrown out if they lack a qualified expert, and defendants can abandon all hope to survive summary judgment. Finding the right expert, however, can be a daunting task in and of itself. Read on for a discussion of how you can find the best expert witness for your lawsuit. Call a qualified medical expert with any additional questions or for help with your case.
Locating experts in the field at issue can be a difficult process. There are several large databases of experts that you can peruse, browsing by subject matter. These databases are not always the best resources, however, and they often do not limit experts listed by qualification. Experts can even submit themselves to the database, instead of relying on third parties who have utilized their services.
Reach out to your network of colleagues and clients. If you know anyone who has handled a similar matter, find out which experts they retained, or if they know of other attorneys who had a good experience with any experts in the past. Former clients may have also been involved in other lawsuits in which experts were utilized.
Wherever you identify your expert, it is important to do extensive research before calling them in for a meeting. Visit the expert’s website, search for any reviews online, and ask your network if the expert is worth hiring. You can ask potential experts to send you examples of other reports submitted and other casework they have handled.
Do Your Diligence
Once you have identified a possible expert or a company that deals in expert opinions and testimony in the specific field at issue in your case, make sure to conduct a proper evaluation of your potential expert. Check their qualifications and experience extensively. An impressive degree is far from sufficient: Look for expertise in the specific issue involved in your case. If the matter involves brain damage caused by a botched surgery, do not retain an internist or a general practitioner. You need an expert with specialized knowledge about brain surgery. Ideally, you can find an expert with published works about the field in question and who has actually practiced in that field. Know your jurisdiction’s rules on qualifications: Some jurisdictions require that medical experts, for example, be active practitioners rather than academics.
Additionally, make sure to review articles, books, and other expert reports written by your potential expert. Review old cases in which they were involved, including a review of the Daubert orders concerning their reports and testimony. You do not want to be in the middle of cross-examination and learn for the first time that five years ago, your expert testified to the exact opposite of the conclusions they drew for your case. Nor do you want to find out that they have a history of being found unqualified or offering unsupported opinions in previous matters. Your expert is likely to be the linchpin of your case; you cannot be too careful in your selection process.
If you need a knowledgeable and effective expert witness in a personal injury, medical malpractice, or product liability case, contact the offices of Neurosurgery Medlegal Services, LLC, at 866-659-8051.