SEAK (Skills, Education, Achievement, Knowledge), a 39-year-old company that provides professionals with resources that prepare them to be expert witnesses, conducted a survey that found expert witnesses in United States courts of law are paid an average hourly wage between $250 and $550 per hour. Paying just one expert witness can prove entirely too costly to the plaintiffs or defendants that hire them, breaking their bank while potentially not bringing any benefits to their respective sides of the battle. Since expert witnesses’ fees aren’t cheap and they are required to be unbiased when tried in court, hiring them might not be a good idea. Here’s how to know when expert witnesses should be hired.
Complexity Plays a Big Role in the Utility of Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses, as their name implies, have many years of experience in their respective fields of practice. They try to break down the meaning of complex findings, assumptions, and reasonings to members of the jury, all of which likely have no experience in whatever field of experience is at hand. Malpractice stemming from surgeries, intellectual property problems, and computer programming mess-ups would be worth hiring expert witnesses for.
Is Clearing Up the Highly Technical Information Beneficial to Your Cause?
Assume that you’re being tried in a U.S. court of law. You are likely to win the case if the jury fails to understand the highly technical, jargon-filled cloud surrounding the crime you’re accused of. If you hire an expert witness that can explain such expert-level ideas and remove the cloud from vision, you essentially paid money to lose ground in a court case. Hiring an expert witness isn’t always a good idea.
Make or Break
Testimonies from expert witnesses can sometimes be the most important piece of dialogue or evidence that juries hear. In these cases, expert witnesses should always be brought in. Making sure the value of hiring these professionals outweighs the cost is a prerequisite to hiring an expert witness.
Expert witnesses can sometimes by the litigation support specialist your case needs to edge your opponent out of contention. They’re expensive, so make sure your legal team has thoroughly done its research prior to hiring one or more of them.