5 Common Expert Witnesses to Assist in Legal Cases
Some legal cases are clean-cut, with scene evidence, eyewitnesses, and the authorities being able to draw an accurate conclusion about what happened at the scene of a crime or accident.
However, that’s not always the case. In some complex legal matters, the cause isn’t always clear, and the guilty parties aren’t always obvious. Often, it can take some of the following expert witnesses to help judges and juries reach suitable conclusions.
Forensic experts rely on their scientific principles and methods to analyze, identify, and classify evidence relating to a crime or accident. However, many different types of forensic experts are available, depending on the scene law enforcement is working with.
For example, an arborist expert witness, also known as a forensic arborist, can sometimes be called upon to provide tree-failure analysis, tree-risk assessments, and legal insight for tree-related accidents and personal injury. You can also hire computational forensic experts who search data, identify patterns, and reveal trace evidence.
Financial experts can provide a range of helpful services when complex financial situations can’t be resolved without their help. For example, you might utilize the services of a forensic accountant to find hidden assets or another financial expert to determine property values for fair property division. They can also be relied upon to calculate any tax consequences for the parties involved in a legal case.
In a product liability lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove that a product is defective by design, manufacturing, or marketing. While it can often be easy to prove that a product is defective and the manufacturer and supplier are liable, that’s not always the case.
Sometimes, engineering experts are relied upon to prove this fact either way. Typically, engineers who serve as experts in a legal case will use their expertise about a product or general manufacturing and design processes to confirm that manufacturers did know or should have known that their product could cause injury.
Mental Health Experts
There may be no denying that a defendant committed a crime, especially if they were caught in the act. However, a mental health expert might be required if a defendant uses an insanity defense to say that they couldn’t differentiate right from wrong and shouldn’t be legally accountable for their actions.
Mental health experts may provide psychotherapy, counseling, and psychiatric services to determine whether someone has a mental health disorder that might have affected their ability to know right from wrong when committing a crime.
White-collar crime can typically be quite high profile, seeing the need for reputable security experts to strengthen their client’s cases. Typically, such experts can be relied upon to look at the available evidence, compare it to the financial markets of the time, and determine whether particular actions are fraudulent. Securities experts can even delve into the actions of banks and financial institutions to determine whether their actions or inactions mean they failed in their duties.
Expert witnesses won’t be required in all legal cases, but they can often be a valuable addition to any legal team looking to secure a win for their client. Anyone with a complex legal issue might like to explore their options for having an expert witness on their side.