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Expert Witness

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Expert Witness

In a Nevada personal injury claim, the injured party must typically prove the elements of negligence, intentional torts, or strict liability to recover compensation for damages. In a complex case, a personal injury lawyer may hire an expert witness to assist with the investigation, discovery, and/or trial preparation and testimony. 

Who Is an Expert Witness in a Personal Injury Case?

Who Is an Expert Witness in a Personal Injury Case?

Expert witnesses help jurors and judges understand scientific and technical evidence and information that a layperson might not be familiar with during a trial. The Federal Rules of Evidence define an expert witness as someone who qualifies as an expert on a specific subject due to their experience, education, training, skill, or knowledge. The Nevada Rules of Evidence are the same for expert witnesses.

What Are the Qualifications for an Expert Witness in a Nevada Personal Injury Case?

The courts require a party to demonstrate the following to use expert testimony at trial:

  • The expert is qualified because of their education, skill, experience, training, or knowledge;
  • The expert’s specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact (i.e., the judge in a non-jury trial or jurors in a jury trial) understand evidence presented in court or determine a disputed fact; and,
  • The expert’s testimony is limited to matters within their scope of specialized knowledge.

The Nevada Supreme Court has provided several factors that can be used by judges in determining whether a person qualifies as an expert witness. 

Those factors include:

  • Formal education and an academic degree
  • Employment experience in the field
  • Licensure 
  • Practical experience
  • Specialized training

Generally, an attorney will have the expert testify about their experience, training, and credentials. Sometimes, the other party may stipulate that the person is an expert. However, the judge decides whether to qualify the witness as an expert.

Examples of Expert Witnesses Used in Nevada Personal Injury Cases

The facts and circumstances of the case dictate what type of expert witness might be helpful. 

Experts in personal injury cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical specialists testify regarding the type of injuries sustained, the severity of impairments/disabilities, the medical standard of care, and other matters.
  • Accident reconstructionists assist in determining how a car accident occurred. They identify factors that contributed to the cause of the collision and the parties responsible for those factors.
  • Manufacturing experts assist in product liability claims. They explain how an item is manufactured and how errors could result in a dangerous or defective product.
  • Life care planning experts assess how a disabling condition or impairment impacts a person’s ability to care for their needs and daily activities.
  • Engineering experts assist in numerous types of cases, including product liability, traffic accidents, and premises liability claims.
  • Vocational rehabilitation experts assess a person’s ability to perform tasks that could earn an income, given their level of impairment after an injury or accident. 
  • Financial experts evaluate the value of economic damages in a personal injury claim. They can also help assess the value of non-economic damages
  • Trucking industry experts assist in commercial vehicle accident cases by explaining various aspects specific to a large truck accident
  • Transportation safety experts assist by explaining how the systems and devices in a vehicle could cause or contribute to the cause of a collision and the severity of someone’s injuries.

Your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer will explain when and why you need an expert witness for your case. Those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Why Did My Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Hire an Expert Witness?

Expert witnesses assist during all phases of a personal injury case. They might help your attorney during the investigation phase to determine how you were injured and gather evidence proving causation and fault. 

Experts may assist during discovery to analyze evidence from the other side. They may testify during your trial to help jurors understand how the evidence supports your claim.

Reasons a personal injury lawyer might hire an expert witness include, but are not limited to:

  • Identify the elements that led to an accident or injury
  • Determine the acceptable standard of care in a medical malpractice claim
  • Explain how your injuries result in an impairment that prevents you from returning to work
  • Analyze evidence and data from the other side’s experts
  • Estimate the costs of long-term personal and/or nursing care
  • Refute the testimony of experts for the other party

Jurors often view expert witnesses as impartial parties with specialized knowledge. Therefore, they might give an expert’s testimony more weight than the testimony of a party to the case. However, jurors decide how to weigh the testimony and evidence in a personal injury trial. 

An Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Has Access To Leading Experts to Build Your Case

Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers work with leading experts in their fields to build strong cases for maximum compensation. Call De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (702) 222-9999 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal options and how we can help you with a personal injury case.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury lawyers serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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