If you are going to trial, it helps to know how expert testimony works in a Nevada injury case. It is common to have an expert witness testify, and clients often ask who can be considered an expert. There are set guidelines that must be considered when deciding who can be an expert because that person’s testimony is supposed to be factual and help a judge or jury make decisions.
Who Is Qualified to Be an Expert Witness?
An expert witness needs to be an “expert” in a very specific area. For example, a doctor would be an expert when it comes to your health. To qualify, they must have:
- Formal education (college degree, etc.) in that particular field
- A license
- Job experience (they have to practice their education and training outside of just learning about the subject)
- Hands-on or practical experience
Think about it this way: someone who watches medical dramas could not testify about your health condition. A doctor who is actively practicing medicine and has treated you, can. If you want some additional expert testimony to confirm your doctor’s assessment, you will want someone who not only practices medicine but is published or has earned a stellar reputation based on their verifiable accomplishments.
Things to Consider
In addition to being qualified as an expert witness, there are limitations to what they can discuss on the stand. An expert can only testify to things within their field of expertise. For example, a chiropractor could testify about injuries to your spine or soft tissue, but they are not an expert in concussions and would not be able to provide valuable testimony to a head injury.
An Expert Witness Must Provide Relevant Testimony
The purpose of their testimony is to shed light, clarity or to provide additional and useful information for the judge or jury to consider when making a determination. Their testimony needs to be relevant and useful. This is in your best interest as well. For example, if you are claiming that you suffered a back injury so severe that you cannot work because sitting at the computer causes pain, you want an expert to explain what happened in a way that a judge or jury can understand. You want a chiropractor, for example, to explain how the spine works, how it was impacted by the accident, and what changes have occurred since then. By shedding light on the situation, they can help make your case.
Who would you want to be an expert witness at your trial?
Have you thought about hiring an expert witness? Who would you hire, and why?