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Generally speaking, an expert witness is someone who has knowledge, experience, training, or other background which is not available in the ordinary course of gathering information for a particular case. Such knowledge may be very specialized, or it might be knowledge that is more frequently applied in areas other than those of a particular case. Whichever, the expert witness has one main function — to provide the best judgment available and render very clear opinions to the court to assist in the decision making process.
An expert witness might serve in one or more of a few basic roles, depending on the lawyer's needs: investigator, educator, and/or evaluator. Being able to communicate sometimes difficult concepts in ways that lay persons like jurors will understand is a vital skill for expert witnesses.
"When facts are in dispute, an expert can sometimes make better sense out of events, or provide a larger context for these events," explains storefront safety expert Rob Reiter, who has been retained in a number of storefront and pedestrian injury cases.
"If a case is very simple, or if large dollars are not in dispute, some simple settlement is often reached. But when there are many factors involved, or if there are differing viewpoints as to fault, or if there is resistance to the amount of a claim or the amount of an offer of settlement, then it is important for an expert to be involved to ensure that there is greater understanding for informed decisions," Reiter says.
Reiter's own work as an expert ties directly to storefront crashes and pedestrian accidents — specifically their causes, the frequency with which they occur, and the many means of prevention. "Using the facts supplied, and using my research and knowledge and experience, I offer opinions to the Court that can be used by all parties in the process," he says.
I can vouch for Reiter's deep knowledge of the subject. (Contact him via LinkedIn or visit his website: StorefrontCrashExpert.com.)
In addition, if you're looking for a lawyer with experience in storefront crash cases, I'm happy to make referrals to those with whom I've had contact. (Just drop me an email: mark [at] storefrontcrashes.com). Also, here's a link to the American Bar Association's list of lawyer referral services.