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Personal Injury Claims: Expert Witnesses

Personal Injury Claims: Expert Witnesses

In a personal injury civil claim, you must show your professional, personal, and physical losses. Consulting with experts is crucial, and retaining an expert witness can strengthen your claim.

What is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a professional who provides specialized knowledge, assisting the court in understanding complex or technical issues. Professionals who are recognized experts in their fields are usually selected to serve as expert witnesses. You may call an expert witness to testify about the cause of an injury or the extent of the damages. The expert witness must be impartial and objective, and their testimony must be based on reliable and credible scientific and technical principles. The role of the expert witness is to provide evidence-based opinions that can assist in resolving the dispute.

The Role of an Expert Witness in Injury Litigation

Expert witnesses play a critical role in personal injury trials as they provide specialized knowledge. They help to interpret complex medical or technical evidence and provide impartial and objective opinions to assist the judge in assessing the facts of the case.

Expert witnesses can present technical information in a way that opposing parties and the judge will understand best.

The duties and tasks of an expert witness in a personal injury trial often include:

  • Reviewing medical and technical records: The expert witness may review and analyze medical records, accident reports, and other documents to provide an opinion on the cause of the injury and the extent of the damages.
  • Examining the injured party: Sometimes, you may require the expert witness to examine the injured party and provide an opinion on their condition and prognosis.
  • Providing testimony: They testify in court to provide a professional opinion on the cause of the injury, the extent of the damages, and any other relevant factors.
  • Answering questions: The judge or mediator and involved lawyers may ask the expert witness questions to clarify their opinions and assist in resolving the dispute.

Examples of expert witnesses in personal injury trials include medical experts, such as physicians and nurses. Technical experts, such as engineers, provide opinions on the cause of accidents, product defects, and other technical matters. Economic experts, such as accountants and financial analysts, can provide opinions on the economic losses suffered by the injured party.

How Do You Identify and Hire a Witness?

A lawyer identifying and retaining an expert witness in support of a personal injury claim typically follows these steps:

  1. Assessing need for an expert based on complexity of the case
  2. Identifying the type of expert needed based on the specific issue
  3. Searching for potential experts
  4. Evaluating credentials and qualifications of potential experts
  5. Contacting and retaining the chosen expert
  6. Preparing the expert for testimony by reviewing relevant documents, explaining the circumstances of the claim and giving them a set of specific questions to answer regarding the injury in their professional opinion

Remember, judges are not usually experts on the specific factual issues in personal injury claims. This evidence is crucial for building a strong case. Hiring an expert witness to testify in support of a personal injury claim can be beneficial for many reasons. They provide objective and credible evidence that can clarify complex or technical issues, strengthen the case, challenge opposing testimony, establish damages, and provide an independent analysis of the facts. This can increase the chances of a favourable outcome and provide the court with clear and convincing evidence.

At League and Williams, we have extensive experience identifying and retaining expert witnesses from various industries in British Columbia and around the world.

Have a question about this topic or a different legal topic? Contact us for a free consultation. Reach us via phone at 250-888-0002, or via email at

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