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How Do You Challenge an Expert Witness?

Expert witnesses are a fixture in many cases involving complex factual situations, including criminal cases and personal injury lawsuits. If one party uses an expert witness, the other party will typically counter by retaining their own expert witness. 

In a “battle of the experts,” the prevailing party is often the one whose expert survives the other party’s attacks with their credibility intact.

3 Ways Experts Can Be Challenged in Court

No matter the facts of your case, any expert witness’s opinion is only as good as the expert’s credibility. If the expert loses credibility in the eyes of the judge or jury, then the expert’s opinion will likely be disregarded and its effect nullified.

Three common ways to challenge an expert witness who is testifying in any case include:

1. Target Their Knowledge

An expert unfamiliar with the literature and principles of their field, including dissenting opinions, should not be regarded as an expert. Attorneys, therefore, can challenge an expert’s knowledge of their subject matter to show that the so-called expert’s opinion is no more informed than any other opinion.

2. Question Their Impartiality

Experts rarely testify for free, no matter how much they believe in a litigant’s cause. By exposing the compensation an expert received for their opinion and testimony, attorneys can try to paint the other party’s expert as a “hired gun.” This can lead the judge or jury to believe an expert would conclude anything for the right amount.

3. Single Out Their Conclusions

Attorneys may also attack conclusions that an expert reaches that are not supported by solid evidence. If an expert comes to one conclusion but two or three other explanations are also possible, the attorney may try to persuade the expert to agree that those other explanations are reasonable as well.

Contact a Skilled Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Challenging an expert witness is possible — for a skilled and experienced attorney. Shrader Mendez & O’Connell is your premier personal injury law firm in Tampa; get in touch with us about your case by calling 813-360-1529 today.

Posted in Criminal Defense