Expert Witness

Most personal injury victims don’t know much about the role of expert witnesses in personal injury lawsuits. However, depending on the case, they may play a key role in an injury victim’s ability to obtain financial compensation for their injuries. 

To qualify as an expert witness in a Florida civil lawsuit, a person must do much more than simply claim that they are an expert in a specific field. Rather, a person seeking certification as an expert witness in a trial must meet strict requirements. Further, expert witnesses are only permitted to discuss certain issues in personal injury lawsuits.  

If you’ve been injured in an accident in the state of Florida, you may end up requiring the assistance of an expert witness in your case. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the rules regarding expert witnesses before your case goes to trial. In this article, we discuss expert witnesses in Florida. 

Expert Witness Defined

Expert Witness Defined

An expert witness is an individual who has expertise or special knowledge in a specific scientific field who may be called to provide expert testimony in a civil trial. Expert witnesses use their knowledge to examine aspects of a case and then offer an opinion. 

In a personal injury lawsuit, the most common type of expert witness is an expert who testifies on medical matters. A medical expert, who is frequently a doctor or other health care professional, may be asked to testify about the nature of a plaintiff’s injuries, their possible cause, and how they have impacted the plaintiff’s life. 

And although medical experts are common in a personal injury lawsuit, expert witnesses may come from practically any field, depending on the type of accident involved. 

Daubert vs. Frye Standards for Expert Witnesses 

To fully understand the role of expert witnesses, it is necessary to possess a general understanding of the expert witness standards. Expert witnesses in Florida are qualified to give expert testimony in a case under the Daubert standard. Under the Daubert standard, judges have the power to determine whether a witness possesses the appropriate level of skill, experience, knowledge, training, or education to qualify as an expert witness. 

Another expert witness standard is known as the Frye Standard. Under this standard, an opinion that is offered by an expert only must demonstrate that the technique is considered reliable and widely acceptable in the applicable scientific community. 

Under the Frye Standard, expert witnesses are helpful in proving things like breach of duty and the extent and amount of a plaintiff’s damages.  

Qualifying As an Expert Witness in Florida

Under Florida law, a person must meet specific requirements to become an expert witness. First, a person can qualify as an expert witness based on skill, knowledge, experience, education, or training. Generally, an expert must have a thorough background in the area in which they intend to testify, and it is useful if the expert has published research in their field of study. 

In addition to meeting these background requirements, an expert witness must meet certain conditions before being permitted to testify. For one, an expert witness must be capable of assisting a judge or jury in judging the facts of a case or understanding certain evidence. 

In addition, an expert witness may only testify if: 

  • Their testimony is based on sufficient data and facts 
  • Their testimony is the result of reliable methods and principles 
  • The witness has applied the above principles to the facts of the case at hand in a manner that is reliable 

Finally, to determine whether a person may qualify as an expert witness, the court conducts a test that consists of two parts. First, the court must determine if the subject merits expert testimony because it will help the jury or judge better understand the case. 

Second, the court must determine whether the expert is qualified to testify. If these two conditions are met, the court will permit the expert witness to testify in the case. 

Contact a Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer To Gain Access To Leading Experts 

If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Florida, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Select an attorney who deals exclusively with personal injury claims and will help you prove the elements of your claim. This may include gathering valuable evidence, such as expert witness testimony proving the full extent of your damages and any other complex issues.

At Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers, we offer a free consultation and we are available 24/7 at (850) 407-6634, so contact us today.