What is an expert witness?

Written by Ahsanali on 28. November 2020 09:29 o'clock

    

An expert witness is someone who, through education, experience, or a combination of the two, has knowledge that can inform those responsible for making decisions about standards of nursing practice. Ophthalmology Expert Witness may be called upon to give testimony during inquiries, hearings and trials. Expert testimony is most often sought in cases of medical negligence by nurses to establish what standards are reasonable in the circumstances and whether the nursing care provided met those standards. Expert witnesses may be asked to give their opinion on hypothetical issues, in a particular area, and to say whether they believe a particular behavior is appropriate or reasonable in certain circumstances.

 

How are expert witnesses paid?
As an expert witness, you are entitled to reasonable remuneration for your services. Before agreeing to take on this role, you should ask the lawyer retaining you for a written contract that states what is expected of you and clearly indicates what fees you will be paid and what they cover, and what fees will be refunded. The hours you bill should include time spent on the phone or in person in consultation with the lawyer, reviewing documents and preparing reports, travel (plus related costs), and court appearance. You should also include a clause in the contract that requires payment of what is owed to you upon receipt of your invoice.

What to expect as an expert witness?
When you are called to testify, you will be required to take an oath and swear to tell the whole truth in the Bible or by statutory declaration. As a preliminary matter, before allowing you to give evidence in the form of an opinion, the court will have to recognize that you have the necessary qualifications to be considered an expert. To this end, the lawyer who retained your services will have to give details to the court about your level of education, training, experience and professional titles 2. Once accepted by the judge as an expert, you will first be questioned by the lawyer who retained your services (examination-in-chief) then cross-examined by the opposing lawyer. Following cross-examination, the lawyer who retained your services may ask you additional questions as part of a re-examination.
The following suggestions will help you take on the role of expert witness 3, 4:

Dress professionally.
When you are invited to come to the bar, remain standing until you have taken the oath and have been told you can sit down.
Be prepared to state your full name for the court record.
Listen carefully and make sure you understand the question before you answer. If the question is not clear, insist on clarification or ask that the question be worded in another way.
Take your time to answer questions, and if you need to look at a document to answer, ask to view the document.
Be prepared to give your opinion on the appropriateness of a particular type of behavior or treatment (in the circumstances as you understand them) and in accordance with evidence-based practice.
If you are asked about things that are beyond the scope of nursing, let the court know that it is outside your jurisdiction.
Answer questions confidently, clearly and politely; address your answers to the jury, or to the judge if there is no jury.
Answer only the specific question asked.
Use everyday language to answer questions and avoid medical jargon. If technical terms need to be used, explain them to ensure your answers are understood.
Answer the questions as best you can. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know". Don't guess at the answer.
You must answer the questions. It is the lawyer who retained your services who will object to questions that are incorrect or irrelevant.
Do not contradict yourself in your testimony or in what you may have written or said before unless you can explain why you are now expressing a different opinion.
Do not favor the position of the party on whose behalf you are testifying because this will reduce your credibility as an independent professional.
If you are asked to answer a question with "yes" or "no" and that is not appropriate, tell the lawyer that you cannot answer that way and that an explanation is needed. . The judge will usually give you the opportunity to explain yourself.
Outside the courtroom, avoid discussions with other witnesses and politely decline to make statements to the press. If the hearing is suspended or if a break is declared during cross-examination, the judge will ask you not to discuss your testimony with anyone. ?
You don't have to agree to be an expert witness in a trial. If you agree, however, it is recommended that you prepare properly to be an effective witness.

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