Tips to ensure that your witness has credibility with a jury
If you need an expert witness for your client’s personal injury case, you don’t want to just choose anyone. An expert witness could easily make or break your client’s case, and weaken their personal injury claims and chances of being reimbursed for medical services. Follow the tips below to make sure you choose a credible, authoritative, and experienced witness for your client:
1. Expert witnesses with poor public speaking skills
While your client’s expert witness doesn’t have to be a great orator, they should be a proficient public speaker. If a judge or jury has to focus most of their attention simply trying to hear a witness, it will take away from the information they are providing about the case. Additionally, an expert witness with sub-par speaking skills will likely not be seen as credible by a judge or jury – even if their experience and the information they provide would suggest otherwise.
2. Inexperienced expert witnesses who may not inspire confidence
While it may seem like common sense, an expert witness should actually be an expert in the field they are testifying about. Even if they provide good information and are a good public speaker, a recent medical school graduate is probably not the best person to provide medical information to a judge or jury. Instead, it’s a good idea to find an expert with many years of experience in their field and, ideally, some courtroom experience.
3. Expert witnesses who could appear to have a conflict of interest
When selecting an expert witness, it’s essential to choose individuals who do not appear to have any conflicts of interest. Even if you or your client’s uncle is the foremost expert in the country in the specific area in which you require an expert, calling them into court is probably a bad idea. The judge, jury, and defense are unlikely to find a friend or relative’s testimony as credible as someone who seems impartial.
The same goes in the opposite direction – you want to be careful to make sure the expert witness you’re calling doesn’t have any type of vested interest in seeing your client’s case become unsuccessful. While this might not occur very often, it’s still a good idea to make sure a potential witness doesn’t have any major financial ties to the defense’s law firm or insurance company, or another vested interest in the outcome of the case.
4. Expert witnesses with a less than ideal reputation
When it comes to calling an expert witness for a personal injury case, you’ll want to make sure they have a good reputation. Judges and juries are unlikely to trust an expert witness with a checkered past. Any major red flags, including lying to juries, serious cases of medical malpractice, and criminal records, should automatically disqualify a witness from testifying in your client’s case.
However, even smaller issues, like bad press, unflattering online reviews, inappropriate social media profiles, or other negative information could seriously affect your witness’s credibility – and by extension, your client’s. Therefore, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research any potential expert witnesses before considering using them as part of your case.
Finding the right expert witness to testify for your client’s personal injury case can be a challenge – but finding the right chiropractic, pain management, or rehabilitative care for your client shouldn’t be; just tell them to reach out to Pines Spine and Joint at 954-430-8000 to schedule an appointment with our highly-experienced team of doctors, chiropractors, and therapists who put patients first.