Asking Expert Witnesses about Similar Experience


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When an expert witness is hired for a generic or common issue, it is easier to discuss similar experiences that are encountered both in the field and with other experts. These situations are important to gather information, exchange details and to become a more experienced expert witness to create reports and present testimony.

Experts are hired for both criminal and civil cases on either side depending on what is needed. Because of this versatility, there are several details and pieces of information that may be shared about the processes, details of claims administration and what is needed based on the state, judge or local laws. Both lawyers and experts often ask about similar experiences to the cases they are involved in when certain events are confusing or complicated. The more information that may be shared in this manner, the better prepared the legal representative or professional may be when facing the ordeal.

There are several hundred variations of experts that could be hired in litigation due to the subject matter and circumstances. If a psychologist is hired for a child abuse case, he or she may ask a clinical social worker how he or she has worked with a similar child or the factors that could be the same in his or her previous cases. These shared experiences may also help the expert in treating, recognizing and understanding ailments, conditions and problems. Through these methods, it is possible to progress through the case more informed and able to help the lawyer with the client. In testimony, the expert witness then is confident
and knowledgeable about his or her elements.

The Exchange of Information

Before it is possible to hire a second or third expert witness for a case or for successive cases, it is vital that the lawyer understand the specific issue. He or she may need to exchange information with a professional in the same or similar area of study. Then, he or she may need to discuss the subject matter to better clarify the confusing details. For medical conditions and treatment, this could lead to communication with doctors or other hospital staff. This could lead to a stronger relationship with some experts when they are hired in the future for similar matters. These exchanges may also provide enough details about the claim that the lawyer will know what type of expert to hire and what knowledge he or she should possess.

Education and information are key to the success of utilizing and hiring an expert witness. When the claim is about an injury, it could also require knowledge about the treatment, healthcare plans and what therapy is necessary for recovery. When the lawyer is versed in these details, he or she will have a better understanding of who to hire and where to look. This may also reduce or eliminate confusion for him or her and the client. Then, it is easier to prepare for an expertís testimony before the courtroom. If any additional professionals are necessary, the legal representative will not be as confused on who to hire to corroborate or provide additional details.

Similar Experiences

When a complication arises in a case, it is important to have as many details possible for the cause of the injury, what treatment was applied, what occurred in the incident and how to resolve the problem. In order to accomplish these tasks, an exchange of data, details and info with at least one expert in the field is required for use of an expert witness. However, it is best to corroborate the processes and injury with another based on a similar experience. This may provide the best understanding of what has happened with the client. Similar to a second opinion with a medical practitioner, asking an expert witness about similar experiences may strengthen the case overall.

Whether the lawyer or expert witness in a case is asking another expert about similar circumstances, situations or experiences, this could equal the same exchange of data or increase in knowledge when shared. The professional hired may communicate the details when they are pertinent to the claim. Then, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate any confusion for the plaintiffís party with the case and details. This may also increase the feasibility and utilization of the expertís tests or methods. When the additional information has been incorporated appropriately, the expert may be able to better present his or her testimony and base his or her conclusion on more solid facts.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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