Mechanic's Liens & South Carolina Residential Builders
October 1, 2015
Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases
February 9, 2017
There is an old expression that says that there is strength in numbers. This expression can ring especially true in the courtroom. Under South Carolina and federal law, you have every right to represent yourself in court. However, your chances of success in the courtroom may be greatly increased by having an experienced attorney by your side. Another vital member of your case winning team may be an expert witness. While some expert witnesses may add additional costs to your case, expert witnesses can be a deciding factor for a verdict in your favor.
What is the difference between an expert witness and a regular witness?
The South Carolina Rules of Evidence allow expert witnesses to testify about things a normal witness cannot. The testimony of normal witnesses or lay witnesses as they’re called in the court is normally limited to what the witness actually observed or perceived. On the other hand, expert witnesses can formulate opinions and conclusions, even if they were not present when an injury or accident occurred. Because they can testify about things that occurred outside their personal knowledge, experts receive a more rigorous review process from the court.
While expert witnesses exist in a wide range of subject areas, not everyone can serve as an expert witness. There are several steps a witness must go through to be qualified as an expert. To give a legal conclusion or opinion, the expert witness must have some sort of scientific, technical or special knowledge that will assist a judge and jury in coming to a conclusion. Once an expert is deemed to have qualifications, the judge will review the expert's opinion and allow it if it will be helpful to the jury understanding evidence. More about how the testimony of an expert witness can come in in South Carolina courts is available here.
How could an expert witness help my personal injury case?
Expert witnesses typically help those who have been injured in accidents in two separate ways. The first way includes an expert who testifies to details of the accident, such as an accident reconstruction specialist. This type of expert could testify as to another driver’s negligence based on speed, traffic conditions, and other factors on the road.
The other type of expert that can help in your personal injury case is a medical professional who can testify to the severity of your injuries. A medical expert witness can also be helpful in a medical malpractice case as they can testify to the standard of care for physicians and other practitioners in the areas.
Have you been hurt in an accident?
If you have suffered an injury in Aiken, SC or in the surrounding area, Surasky Law can help. We have the experience to assemble teams that can win cases, including qualified expert witnesses that can help you get the compensation you deserve.