What to expect
There are two types of expert witnesses who provide opinion to the judge in cases where a catastrophic injury has been sustained. These are quantum experts who look at the impact of the injury and liability experts who provide opinion on who/what was at fault for the injury.
To identify liability, you won’t be assessed by an expert witness. Instead they will review all files, reports and notes associated with your injury (including medical reports) and will create their opinion and report from this information.
To identify quantum, you will be assessed by an expert witness. This is usually face-to-face but in some instances may be over the phone; particularly if you are based outside of the UK.
Following the assessment your expert witness will write a detailed report which is provided to either the claimant or defendant solicitor and/or insurer.
- What happens at an assessment?
- What happens after the assessment?
- Will I see the expert witness again?
What happens at an assessment?
Prior to the assessment, the expert witness will have researched your case and prepared a set of questions to ask you to help them complete their report. It’s important that you are as detailed as possible at this stage.
The questions you will be asked are based on the impact the injury has had on everyday life and, where relevant, your life before the injury.
The expert witness may also observe your movement and functionality to see how the injury may be disabling you to live your life to it’s fullest.
Sometimes people wish for a close family member or friend to be present which is fine however the expert witness will always focus on you and your needs.
What happens after the assessment?
After the assessment has taken place the expert witness will start writing their report.
The report is a lengthy document which goes through our quality assurance process. During this time the expert witness may be in contact with the solicitor and/or insurer to clarify key points or gather additional evidence not originally submitted. They may also research particular equipment or adaptation to ensure appropriate costs are included in the report.
Will I see the expert witness again?
After the report is submitted it’s unlikely you will see the expert witness again unless they are called on by the court to give evidence in person at trial. In some cases, the expert may also be called upon at certain times in a child’s life as they develop into adulthood.
They will continue to be involved in the case in a number of ways and on hand to answer questions from either legal party as the case progresses. On occasion they may be asked to attend ‘conference’ with counsel either in person or over the phone.
This means they are on hand to support the legal process if clarification is needed at any point.
Sue (expert witness) is an asset and makes a huge difference to the outcome for our clients. I can’t rate her highly enough. Extremely knowledgeable, fair in her approach and always a pleasure to work with. Clients lover her manner as well.Solicitor, 2018