Personal injury cases frequently require testimony from expert witnesses to establish one or more elements of a claim. Because this expert testimony may be highly technical and require significant analysis to understand, Ohio courts require parties to a law suit to exchange expert reports for all expert witnesses expected to be called to testify at trial.
Under Ohio law, an individual may testify as an expert witness if their testimony relates to matters beyond the understanding of laymen, the witness is qualified to opine on those matters, and their opinion is based on reliable science, techniques, or specialized information.
An expert report is a statement of an expert’s opinion about those matters within his expertise and outside the scope of expertise of the layman. The report will typically state the facts and assumptions that serve as the basis of the expert opinion, the methodology used for reaching the stated opinion, and a concise statement of the resulting expert opinion derived from the analysis.
The expert report is essential to providing opposing counsel adequate notice of the technical arguments and defenses that may be made at trial. For this reason, the Court may prohibit an expert from testifying if an expert report has not been timely produced.
Experts may be retained in personal injury cases for opinions regarding a broad range of technical areas, including medical malpractice, engineering, calculation of damages, and motor vehicle accident reconstruction, among many others. Your attorney will decide if and in what capacity an expert should be retained to establish your personal injury claims.