Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kinds of Witnesses: A Focus on Expert Witnesses

All kinds of legal proceedings require a witness’s account to tie up all details and make sense of documents that have been gathered through a subpoena to compile evidences. There are times, however, when the narration of an ordinary witness, or even the impeachment of a hostile witness, is not enough to make judges and jurors understand certain facts and issues that involve highly technical or specialized forms of knowledge. This is where expert witnesses come in.

An expert witness can be any professional who is regarded as a respected member in their field. Expert witnesses are more commonly called in for cases involving, but are not limited to, personal injury or criminal cases wherein their testimonies are deemed to be vital in shedding light on matters involving medical science, toxicology, and other related specializations.

There are some things that distinguish an expert witness from the other types of witnesses. Expert witnesses are not necessarily related to any party in the cases where they are giving their testimony. Another distinction is that they are the only kind of witnesses allowed by the general rules of court to give opinion and draw conclusions as long as it is related to their field of expertise. Their objectivity and specialized knowledge make them vital in winning a case for or against plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit.

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