How Expert Witnesses Help Lawsuit Funding
Expert witnesses may not be a part of every civil case. Yet their value cannot be overstated. In this post, we examine expert witnesses and how expert witness testimony can help with lawsuit funding.
The Use of Expert Witnesses in Civil Cases
One can imagine a regular automobile accident case where one party runs a red light and crashes into another vehicle. The accident is caught on video and any reasonable juror can see the defendant’s car going through the intersection while the light was red. The other driver is injured and seeks compensation via a car accident lawsuit filed in civil court. This could easily be considered an “open and shut” case as far as liability is concerned.
Consider a different scenario where two vehicles collide but the cause is not so clear. Driver 1 says he was trying to make a left turn at the intersection while Driver 2 was speeding in the opposite direction. Normally, these facts suggest Driver 1 is at fault but the accusation of speeding changes things. In some circumstances, Driver 1 and 2 simply testify to a jury their version of the accident and the jury decides who was at fault. This is when the credibility of Driver 1’s version will be weighed against Driver 2’s credibility.
But what if Driver 1 offered an accident construction expert to support his claim that Driver 2 was speeding? Such testimony could persuade the jury to see the facts in a light most favorable to Driver 1. In fact, that would be the only reason why Driver 1 would hire an accident reconstruction expert in the first place. It is quite possible the expert testimony can help plaintiff prove his case.
Expert Testimony is Valuable
Expert witnesses possess specialized knowledge that may be relevant to a particular case. They provide testimony and opinions based on their expertise and experience. This testimony helps the court and/or the jury understand complex issues or technical matters.
Courts see the value in expert testimony. For example, most court rules allow for expert testimony in civil lawsuits. Generally, courts will allow the testimony if:
- It is rationally based upon the experts witness’ perception and
- Will assist in understanding the testimony or determining a fact at issue.
Court rule language might look something like:
Unless the court orders otherwise, an expert may testify in the form of an opinion or inference, state an opinion, and give reasons for it, without first testifying to the underlying facts or data. The expert may be required to disclose those facts or data on cross-examination.N.J.R.E. 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses
Application of Expert Testimony
Because expert testimony helps judges and jurors understand complex issues, they are used regularly when trying to prove/disprove issues at trial. In many cases, expert testimony is offered as part of the discovery process as plaintiffs attempt to illustrate their cases’ merits prior to picking a jury. This is particularly true in accident cases such as the one described above.
In other cases, such as products liability and medical malpractice cases, expert testimony is crucial as both sides play “battle of the experts”. Plaintiffs use the testimony to prove liability or damages. Defendants use them to disprove liability and minimize damages.
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How Expert Testimony and Lawsuit Funding Relate
The perfect lawsuit loan comes down to liability, coverage and damages. Expert witnesses and lawsuit funding intersect when liability and damages are at issue. In cases where expert testimony is pretty much mandatory, liability is evaluated by lawsuit funding underwriters who consider expert testimony in their analysis. Likewise, damages in personal injury cases often comes down to considering medical expert testimony regarding the permanency of the injuries. Expert testimony is very important to lawsuit funding.
Technical experts also help lawsuit funding underwriters better understand technical aspects of a particular issue. In medical malpractice cases for example, experts testify both to the applicable standard of care as well as whether a particular provider deviated from that standard. Since malpractice cases are based in negligence, breach of the standard of care is an integral part of the lawsuit. Thus, expert testimony is utilized by lawsuit funding companies to examine the merits of a particular case.
Expert Witnesses Cost Money
Lawsuit loans are usually obtained to pay for living expenses while out of work plaintiffs endure the drawn out legal process. The truth is there are no restrictions on the use of lawsuit loans. Any expenditure is a worthwhile use of lawsuit funding. Accordingly, some plaintiffs utilize lawsuit funding to pay for expert witness fees. Given the importance of expert testimony, using lawsuit funding to pay for experts can make a case more appealing to underwriters.
Expert witnesses and lawsuit funding intersect as some plaintiffs need cash to pay for expert testimony. Paying for experts is also an excellent way to increase a plaintiff’s chances for a successful lawsuit.
Lawsuit Loans are Not Loans
Lawsuit loans are not actually loans. Their repayment is dependent upon the successful outcome of the case/claim. For this reason, any lawsuit funding investment risks the total advance. With this in mind, you can easily see why the success of a particular case is of primary importance.
Since expert witnesses generally help plaintiffs’ cases, expert testimony helps lawsuit funding companies assess the likelihood of success. A plaintiff’s request for lawsuit funding approval is also enhanced by expert witness testimony.
The Truth About Expert Witnesses and Lawsuit Funding
Fair Rate Funding believes expert witnesses play a critical role in the legal process. Experts can also aid in securing lawsuit funding for plaintiffs. We are plaintiff advocates, dedicating our capital to help plaintiffs get just compensation. We use expert witnesses and lawsuit funding to provide plaintiffs this support.
If you are a plaintiff seeking lawsuit funding, we encourage you to give us a call and learn about your funding options. We are here to help and are at your service.
Thank you for your interest in expert witnesses and lawsuit funding.