What Is an Expert Witness?

Illinois personal injury laws require injured victims to prove the legal elements of their claim to hold a party liable for their injuries and damages. Therefore, our personal injury lawyers in Chicago, IL, gather evidence to build a strong case proving causation, fault, and damages.

Expert witnesses can play a crucial role in building a solid case. They provide specialized knowledge supporting the allegations that prove various elements of the claim. Because the expert has specialized knowledge of a subject and does not have a financial stake in the case’s outcome, their testimony can make a powerful impact on jurors.

Who Can Be an Expert Witness in a Chicago Personal Injury Case?

Who Can Be an Expert Witness in a Chicago Personal Injury Case?

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explain when an expert may be used in a case. They also state the requirements for a person to be considered an expert.

Rule 702 of the Illinois Rules of Evidence has similar requirements for expert witnesses. The law allows expert testimony if specialized, technical, or scientific knowledge will help the jurors or judge understand the evidence or determine a disputed fact. A witness can qualify as an expert based on specialized:

  • Knowledge
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Skill
  • Education 

Experts are only permitted to testify when they can help jurors and judges understand a subject a layperson would not be expected to understand. The subject matter must be directly related to a disputed issue in the case. Additionally, an expert can testify to refute the evidence presented by the other party that is in dispute. 

Why Do We Work With Expert Witnesses in a Chicago Personal Injury Case?

Illinois is an at-fault state for personal injury claims. The injured party must prove negligence or intentional torts to recover damages. 

Evidence can include physical and documentary evidence. However, this evidence might not be sufficient to prove our case, or the evidence could be confusing for a layperson. In those cases, we turn to expert witnesses for help. 

Expert witnesses can assist in several ways, including during the investigation of your claim, the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit, and at trial. Examples of reasons why a personal injury attorney retains an expert witness include:

  • Explain the factors that contributed to the cause of your injury and identify the parties responsible for each factor. This testimony can help establish causation and fault.
  • Calculate the cost of long-term care and treatment for a life-long injury or condition.
  • Explain the medical standard of care that should have been used by a medical provider in a medical malpractice case.
  • Analyze data and evidence in a case to offer an expert opinion to support allegations of fact.
  • Explain how a specific injury can prevent a person from performing certain tasks, which prevent the person from working or engaging in specific activities. 

Choosing an expert witness with a stellar reputation in their field is crucial. In some personal injury trials, jurors must decide which expert to believe. As a result, our legal team works with experts with exceptional credentials and trial experience. 

Types of Expert Witnesses Used in Chicago Personal Injury Cases 

The expert witnesses we choose depend on the type of personal injury case and the facts of the case. Examples of expert witnesses in personal injury cases include:

  • Medical specialists testify about the severity of injuries. 
  • Accident reconstructionists testify about how an accident occurred. 
  • Financial professionals calculate the value of future economic damages
  • Transportation safety experts may testify how vehicle safety devices and systems could impact someone’s injuries in a car accident.
  • Engineering experts testify in premises liability, product liability, and motor vehicle accident cases.
  • Life care planning experts assess how a victim’s condition or injuries will impact their life.
  • Trucking industry experts help jurors and judges understand a commercial truck’s complex machinery and systems, trucking regulations, and other issues related to truck accident cases.
  • Manufacturing experts assist in product liability cases.

At our law firm, we determine whether an expert witness will benefit a case based on the facts of the case. Not all cases require hiring expert witnesses to build a solid case against the at-fault party. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to Learn More

At Zayed Law Offices, we work with leading expert witnesses in their fields to build a solid case proving liability for your damages. We fight to recover the maximum value for your personal injury case. Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation with our Chicago personal injury attorneys.