Louisiana Evidence: Expert Witnesses

If you are hurt, an expert witnesses may play an important role in your case In personal injury cases, lawyers may hire expert witnesses to provide an expert opinion based on his professional knowledge and expertise. In a plaintiff’s claim for personal injuries caused by an automobile collision, for instance, the plaintiff’s attorney may hire a physician to evaluate the plaintiff’s injuries and to testify in court that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the negligent defendant. The judge or the jury will use this testimony to assess the plaintiff’s claims and to better allocate fault and damages among the parties in the suit.

An expert witness may testify in state court if he meets certain requirements provided by the Louisiana Code of Evidence , or in Federal Court, as articulated by the Federal Rules of Evidence. Under these rules, an expert witness may testify if the witness has special knowledge, skills or experience and if the testimony is relevant to the underlying facts in the case. An expert witness must base his testimony on reliable methodology, which typically means that the witness must meet the general standards of his profession. Additionally, the expert’s opinion must be more than a mere speculation; it must be supported by a proper factual basis and based on reasonable certainty.

Both plaintiffs and defendants use expert witnesses to support their cases. Defendants often hire expert witnesses to discredit their opponents’ claims. In both instances, the expert witness’s testimony carries significant weight in civil litigation . For further questions, contact Broussard, David & Moroux at 888-337-2323(toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).

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