BLOG NUMBER 21.9
Accidents happen, and slip and fall injuries can range in severity from a mild scratch to life-altering head traumas. If someone fell on your property and sustained damages as a result, that person or their family may seek compensation or take legal civil action against you. In this case, they will most likely hire a personal injury attorney to prepare their case and seek a most favorable outcome. It would be greatly beneficial to you as the business or property owner to hire a slip and fall expert witness at this point. An expert witness will offer the service of evaluating the evidence and allegations to determine how liable you were in the accident. An expert witness may prove to be vital in protecting your assets when encountered with a slip and fall liability case.
What are the different types of witnesses?
In general, there are two main types of witnesses that may appear in court:
1. Fact witnesses, and
2. Expert witnesses
Fact witnesses are probably what most people think of when we talk about witnesses. They literally witnessed the incident in question and are present to testify to the facts of what they saw, heard, or experienced. This could include details of what the felt, smelled, saw, or heard relating to the details of a case and are able to recount in a court of law.
An expert witness on the other hand is brought to court to provide expert opinion. Fact witnesses may sometimes be asked to provide their opinions about limited issues, but again, this is on the basis of their experience. Expert witnesses are asked to provide opinion on the basis of their education, extensive experience, and credentials in a field. Expert witnesses are usually asked to give opinions on subjects that the average person is unable to understand fully on their own.
For example, a general surgeon may be brought to court to give their expert opinion as to whether a plaintiff’s recovery from their appendectomy was standard or unusual and would be able to speak to the quality of care the plaintiff was given by the defendant. A land surveyor may be hired as expert witness to give an opinion about a boundary line between two pieces of property. And an auto engineer may be brought to testify in a liability case for an engine failure, and so on. A slip and fall expert witness would be called to court to offer their opinion on the safety conditions of a building or property where an accident occured.
But first, in order for a judge to allow for expert opinion, the judge must certify the witness as an expert in their field. To convince a judge that a witness is qualified as an expert, the attorney will usually question the witness on the stand before the facts of the case are discussed. This questioning will be regarding the person’s education, experience, and credentials. Once the judge determines that the witness is qualified as an expert, the facts of the case may be discussed and the attorney can question the expert witness to offer opinion. Occasionally, to save time, the attorneys will agree that the witness is qualified as an expert ahead of time.
There are many factors to be considered in slip and fall cases. An expert witness will help you evaluate the type of fall, seriousness of injuries, the conditions of the location of the fall, and more. Contact Swenson Consulting today for a personalized consultation. Speak with a slip & fall expert witness today at Swenson Consulting!
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