What Is An Expert Witness?

expert witnessWhat is an expert witness?

An expert witness  is a specialist in a subject who presents their expert opinion in a trial or deposition. In a copyright case, for example, a music expert is asked to identify similarities between two songs. In a murder trial, a firearm expert might determine if someone used a specific type of gun.

Unlike a regular witness, who is someone who saw the crime or occurrence, an expert witness was not present at the scene of the crime or incident. They provides evidence, rather than a perception of what occurred.

What kinds of cases use expert witnesses?

Any kind of case can require expert testimony, ranging from areas like security fraud to personal injury. An expert witness is necessary when:

  • The facts of the case are not easily understood
  • The case needs to reach an opinion or conclusion that is not easily attainable
  • The case is full of sophisticated issues
  • The judge is not well-versed in the relevant issues and facts of the case

Who can be an expert witness?

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, an expert witness is someone who has knowledge, skills, education, experience, or training in a specialized field. So as long as someone has these skills in a specific field, they can potentially be an expert witness.

Most expert witnesses are either from the academic field, like someone with an extensive knowledge of the psychology of mental illnesses or language, or are practitioners in a specific field, like engineering or accounting.  An expert witness must be able to provide sufficient facts and data and use reliable principals and methods.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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