4 Types of Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can contribute to criminal and civil cases. These professionals might testify about ballistics in a murder case or a medical expert in a malpractice trial. Both sides of the trial may hire an expert witness to testify, in order to prove their side of the case.

Expert witnesses have to abide by the court rules and their own professional experts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all expert witnesses will have the same opinion, however. In controversial or complex cases, it is normal to have varying opinions among professionals. When it comes to experts, here are four of the top types of witnesses.

Vocational Witnesses

Vocational witnesses are those called by the Social Security Administration or SSA. These experts are called upon when someone appeals a denial of Social Security Disability benefits. The vocational witness will inform the court about whether he or she believes that the appellant is capable of working or if he or she has a disability that would interfere with a job.

Forensic Witnesses

If you’ve ever watched a court drama, you probably have seen forensic witnesses. These are medical examiners, ballistic experts, biologists and blood spatter analysts. A forensic expert applies science to the legal field. In fact, many law enforcement agencies have their own forensic science teams. These teams will often testify in court.

Medical Witnesses

Medical witnesses are another common type of witness. You will most likely need a medical witness if you are in the middle of a medical malpractice case. An expert witness could be a doctor, physician assistant, nurse or any other medical professional. Sometimes, these witnesses can also testify in criminal trials regarding violent crimes that involve serious injuries.

Financial Witnesses

You would most likely require a finance expert witness in a trial involving white-collar crime, such as fraud. Financial witnesses are supposed to educate the jury and help the attorney understand financial aspects of a case. Often, financial experts have to explain data, procedures, proper formats and other calculations. Financial experts could be anyone who works in the financial sector.

When you hire an expert witness, it has to be someone who can persuade and isn’t afraid to speak to the court. When testifying, the individual’s personality matters alongside his or her credentials. Someone more friendly may come across as more trustworthy. There are many different types of expert witnesses and each one can help with a trial’s outcome.

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