To win a personal injury case, a plaintiff has the burden of proving several separate elements, most importantly fault and harm. This proof must be clear and convincing for a judge or jury. In rare cases, what caused the injury and the extent of the harm are obvious. But in most cases, these points require in-depth analysis by knowledgeable professionals, who then testify as expert witnesses. Tennessee Rules of Evidence permit testimony by experts under Rule 702, which says:
“If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will substantially assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise.”
Some of the ways expert witnesses help a plaintiff’s case are:
Effective expert witness testimony depends heavily on the credibility of the witness. A witness’s credentials, preparation, delivery, appearance, attitude and demeanor combine to give an impression that either helps or undercuts the plaintiff’s case. Defense attorneys will cross-examine the plaintiff’s experts and even present experts of their own. A case can easily boil down to a battle of competing experts, with the most credible side winning.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury, talk to a knowledgeable attorney about how to recover damages. Call Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. today at 423-797-6022 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact us online.