Expert witness in Barrie car accident cases help the judge and jury determine a case because they possess more specialized knowledge than the lawyers representing either party. They need to be reliable, have a greater level of expertise, and be able to assist the trier of fact. They must also sign an affidavit promising to be neutral and impartial to acknowledge that they are there to assist the court first and foremost.
Barrie’s case law on car accidents talks a lot about expert witnesses, though it is a very complicated area of law. The Court of Appeals has divided expert witnesses into two categories. One of them is the basic “hired gun” expert witness who comes in to evaluate a case and give evidence but does not have ongoing involvement in the case.
The other type of expert is what the courts call “participating experts.” Examples of participating experts include treating medical doctors, physiotherapists, and people who are involved in an accident victim’s ongoing care. They differ from hired gun experts because they are involved in the broader care for the claimant.
A participating expert is considered an expert by virtue of their profession. A hired gun expert, however, must show that they have more knowledge and background than the trier of fact. The rules about what these expert witnesses can say and how they can give evidence differ depending on whether someone is a participating expert or a hired gun expert.
Local lawyers typically hire certain people to present expert evidence, including forensic engineers, forensic accountants, and medical-legal experts who have specific training and expertise in giving evidence to a court in an auto accident case. Otherwise, a lawyer might summon liability experts to reverse engineer the collision, investigation experts to do surveillance or interview witnesses, or medical experts, including doctors, occupational therapists, nurses, personal support workers, and more. Additionally, forensic accounting experts and future care experts will work with participating experts who are providing treatment to the claimant as the case progresses.
A participating expert will almost always have an existing relationship with the plaintiff. This is not always the case. because they might have come in after the car accident, but people like the family doctor and pre-existing medical professionals will have existing relationships. Hired gun or outside litigation experts generally do not have existing relationships with the plaintiff, although that is not universally true either.
It is important to remember that an expert is required to swear an affidavit to the court saying that they are neutral and impartial. One has to worry about whether they are dealing with an expert witness who has an existing relationship with one of the parties, because that will make it harder for that expert to take a neutral and impartial view. To learn more about the role of expert witnesses in Barrie car accident cases, get in touch with our firm today.