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What Is an Expert Witness in an Auto Accident Claim?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on February 25, 2021

If you are severely injured in an auto accident and wish to make a claim, you may hear the term “expert witness.” An expert witness can be an important ally during your injury claim. It is a professional who can provide key testimony as to the facts of your case. Find out what an expert witness is, whether you need one and how much it will cost.

What Is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is someone who testifies on behalf of a party based on the unique knowledge or expertise he or she possesses on a certain subject. To qualify as an expert witness, a party must have significant experience in his or her subject. The individual must currently work or teach in a relevant industry.

An expert witness will take the stand or give a deposition as to his or her professional opinion on a fact that is key to the car accident case, such as who must have been responsible based on the type of property damage or the extent of the victim’s injuries based on medical records and photographs.

Experts can provide clarity on a complicated aspect of a car accident case. Attorneys often employ expert witnesses to make matters clearer to a jury, who may otherwise not understand a technical aspect of the crash. The expert witness can provide important information for the claim based on his or her special knowledge of a relevant subject. An expert witness’s testimony can help a jury make a determination on key case issues.

An eyewitness is not the same thing as an expert witness. An eyewitness saw the car accident take place and can offer information no one else knows about how the collision happened, such as the direction both vehicles were traveling and their speeds. An expert witness, on the other hand, is not at the scene of a car accident. Instead, he or she is hired afterward to speak on a complicated aspect of the case, such as the physics of the collision. Both types of witnesses can be important to an auto accident claim, however.

Types of Expert Witnesses

There are many different types of expert witnesses available to testify during auto accident claims in Florida. These witnesses may be hired only as consultants or they may be hired to take the stand on behalf of a plaintiff or defendant. Your Tampa car accident lawyer will hire the expert witness who will provide the strongest testimony to support your injury claim based on which elements of your case need to be cleared up. This may be any of the following parties:

  • Accountant or forensic accountant
  • Crash reconstruction expert
  • Engineer
  • Financial expert
  • Medical expert
  • Mental health expert
  • Road maintenance expert
  • Roadway engineer
  • Vocational expert

The average expert witness costs around $350 per hour for consulting services, $450 for depositions and $480 to take the stand. The cost of hiring an expert witness may be something your lawyer can front on your behalf – meaning your lawyer will pay to hire the expert upfront and deduct the costs from any settlement or judgment award won later. Otherwise, it may be your responsibility to pay for the expert’s services prior to the expert providing his or her services.

Do You Need an Expert Witness?

Although the cost of hiring an expert witness can seem daunting, testimony from an expert witness can provide strong and important evidence during your car accident case in Florida. Expert testimony could mean the difference between winning and losing your case – especially if your case involves complex or technically detailed facts. Find out whether you need to hire an expert witness for your car accident lawsuit in Tampa by consulting with a lawyer for more information.