In personal injury cases, expert witnesses routinely play a vital role in the litigation process. An expert witness is someone who is called to testify in court because they have specialized knowledge or experience in a particular field that is of significance in the case. There are distinct types of expert witnesses, but they all serve an important purpose, as they are called to use their education, technical and/or professional knowledge to resolve liability questions and establish or refute medical causation.
For example, a personal injury attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist, who plays a role in analyzing the collision and reconstructing the accident. This type of expert would inspect the scene of the crash and the vehicles involved as well as review any testimony and statements from those involved and then apply scientific methodology to determine how and why the accident occurred.
Expert witness testimony is also used by attorneys in products liability cases, where someone is claiming they were injured by a defective product. This expert would use their knowledge and experience in the engineering field to inspect the product and provide his/her professional opinion on whether or not the product was defectively designed or manufactured, and typically provide an opinion on safer design alternatives.