Is my Expert Witness really an Expert?
Posted on 13th June 2019 at 16:15
As we already know, expert evidence can play an extremely important part of your claim, which is why selecting the right expert is imperative. See our blog on instructing the correct expert for more information on this, by following the link below:
Looking now more specifically, what do we think of when we say expert witness? MG Legal’s team, like any other, interpret this as meaning an individual supplying expert evidence would be an expert within their field. The expert would use their expertise to help propel the claim by giving evidence.
Let’s take an example:
Party A works as a chemical engineer. Due to inadequate health and safety precautions, Party A suffers an accident at work resulting in burns to his arms and legs as a direct result of the incident, which may cause long term scarring. MG Legal’s accident injury solicitors would seek the assistance of a dermatologist, and a plastic surgeon, both experts in their fields, in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. Not only is the expert more beneficial to the client, as they can provide specialist advice, but the expert is just as valuable to the claim itself. With an overriding duty to the Court, the expert can assess the injuries accurately in order to provide the Court with objective and clear evidence in connection with the injuries. The use of the expert witness is therefore twofold- to assist your personal injury solicitor prove that the incident in question caused the injuries sustained, and, when your personal injury claim settles successfully, to assist your personal injury solicitor, and the court, to value the amount of compensation you will receive.
As you can see, expert witnesses can supply vital evidence within your claim. It is, therefore, no wonder that the way in which experts are selected has been set for change.
The introduction of a new certification scheme for expert witnesses is set to be introduced by the Expert Witness Institute to ensure that all expert witnesses are qualified to give such vital evidence. This has been brought to light within a recent case which found that the expert witness providing vital evidence was not, in fact, an expert and had no relevant qualifications.
The aim is to create a ‘gold standard’, with experts entering an assessment process before being certified as a qualified expert witness. Sir Martin Spencer, Chairman of the Expert Witness Institute comments that these methods are to be introduced to ensure that experts are appropriately qualified and experienced to give such vital evidence within legal matters.
The proposals have, however, been criticised and there does still seem a long way to go before change can be implemented. Roger Isaacs, whom is a qualified expert witness, states that ‘experts may only give evidence once in their professional careers and it would be a shame if they were precluded from doing so simply because they were not accredited expert witnesses’.
As you can see, there is cause for debate on this issue, however, the main factor we can take from such proposals is how important expert witnesses can be to your claim, which is being recognised within the new Scheme suggestions.
Before instructing an expert witness to give evidence in your legal matter, MG Legal’s accident claim solicitors would always carry out the appropriate checks to ensure the expert is appropriately qualified and experienced to suit your needs. If you require more information on how witness evidence may affect your claim, or have any other query in relation to a personal injury claim, contact our solicitors in Lancaster today on 01524 581 306, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tagged as: Accident Injury Solicitors, Accident Solicitors, Best Personal Injury Solicitors, Garstang Solicitors, Lancaster Law, Longridge Solicitors, MG Legal, Personal Injury Law, Solicitors in Preston, Your Local Solicitors
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