Expert witnesses play a big part in fictional lawyer dramas, but are they really necessary in most court cases? Expert witnesses are not cheap, charging an average of $2000 for their retainer and $245 to $350 hourly. However, they go a long way towards appealing to juries and presenting facts in an accessible way. Expert witnesses provide explanations for why something went wrong, or what the standard is for that field. In general, ask yourself if a layperson would understand the topic. If not, then you probably want to add an expert to your team.
Lawsuits involving businesses generally include financial topics. These topics could deal with insurance, accounting or banking practices. There is a whole different language when it comes to these topics which a juror probably doesn’t understand. When dealing with money, an expert witness finance is highly recommended. The witness may be a financial lawyer, CPA or both. You may also want a CFE or certified fraud examiner.
Medical Malpractice Claims
There are very specific requirements for medical malpractice claims. One of which is showing that the standard of care, typical in that field of medicine, was not met. Therefore, it is important with these cases to have a medical expert. Malpractice claims investigate whether certain treatments caused harm, which is not a topic just anyone can talk about. These cases vary greatly and require case-specific analysis.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability lawsuits are on the rise and severely overshadow other liability claims. These cases have to do with product recalls, design flaws and product warnings. They may also include manufacturing and safety concerns. Experts for a product liability lawsuit must have a wide range of knowledge in many areas. They may speak to why a product is defective, or explain the mechanical engineering of manufacturing the product. Because of this, product liability lawsuits may require many different expert witnesses.