Finding an Appropriate Witness for Trial
When involved in a motor vehicle accident, it’s vital to have an expert witness to help strengthen an individual’s case. Otherwise, an unprepared witness can really limit an individual’s chances of receiving a winning verdict. It’s important for lawyers to be able to recognize common issues associated with expert witnesses ahead of time in order to help a client win their case.
Common Issues with Expert Witnesses
One common issue with expert witnesses is jurors won’t trust their testimony if the witness is perceived as a ‘hired gun’, or someone only there to agree with the lawyer’s point of view. These types of witnesses are only testifying because they’re receiving payment to agree with whoever is paying them. One way to avoid this issue is for the witness to be comfortable opposing the lawyer’s point of view. Witnesses should also only answer the questions they know the answers to. If they don’t know the answer to a question, it’s best to be honest and admit to not knowing.
The Trouble with Witnesses
Another issue is a witness’s lack of preparation. If a witness provides information that is inaccurate or incomplete, that individual will lose credibility with the juror and limit the chances of helping the client receive a winning verdict. Lack of preparation also means that witnesses might accidentally agree with the opposing side of the case, or not be aware of how their opinion is perceived by the juror. One way to fix this issue is to provide adequate trial preparation that informs witnesses about the process of testifying.
Witnesses also face a communication issue. Some witnesses are unable to break down certain information in a way that non-experts will understand. They either use difficult terminology or overshare information. Sharing too much information can weaken a lawyer’s case. One way to combat this issue is for lawyers to have witnesses participate in mock trials and practice depositions. This will provide experts with the opportunity to prepare their testimony in an intelligent and succinct way that does not confuse the juror.
When finding a witness, it’s important to remember that a great witness will be able to support key points in a case, have accurate knowledge of those points, no reason to provide false information and be willing and able to testify during the trial. It’s also important to remember that witnesses should not be brought in to help prove minor points – all points should be major key points. The witness should have actually been at the scene of the accident and witnessed whatever the client is trying to prove. It’s important not to bring in a witness that only knows about the accident via hearsay.
At Los Angeles Injury Group, we have experienced lawyers who can help assist clients with picking an appropriate witness, as well as helping prepare the witness for trial. Our lawyers know what jurors expect from witnesses; therefore, our lawyers make sure witnesses satisfy those requirements. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and need a lawyer, call (310) 954-7248.