The Two Types Of Witnesses In Court Proceedings

Are you involved in a lawsuit and you are in the process of gathering your witnesses? If so, be aware that there are two types of witnesses that you can get involved in your case. Here is what you need to know about them.

Fact Witnesses

As the name implies, a fact witness is somebody that is only allowed to provide facts regarding a case. They are also referred to as percipient witnesses or eyewitnesses, so be aware that all three names are essentially the same thing. A fact witness is typically somebody that saw the crime being committed and can help provide facts about what they personally saw as testimony during a trial. A fact witness is going to be crucial to your case since they are providing the evidence that you need in the courtroom. 

What makes a fact witness unique is that they are not allowed to give their opinion about something related to the case. They are simply allowed to give their recollection of events that they experienced. They are not even allowed to present hearsay evidence, which is what they heard from other people related to the case.

Expert Witnesses

An expert witness is brought into a case when an opinion about a subject matter needs to be presented in a court case. These expert witnesses have some sort of expertise in a field based on their experience, education, professional training, skills, or general knowledge on a topic. Any expert witness's opinion must be based on facts and data that have been presented during the case, as well as reliable methods or principles used to explain their opinion and how they reached their conclusion.

For example, if you were involved in a personal injury case, you may have a fact witness that presents what they saw regarding how the injury happened. An expert witness with a medical background could then be brought in, who will explain how the type of injury that was presented could lead to the type of injury that was sustained. This can help prove that the injury is legitimate and related to the incident. 

There are two main ways that the defense can challenge an expert. They may try to prove that the expert witness doesn't have the necessary qualifications to be considered an expert in their field, which could cause their testimony to be thrown out. They may also question the methods used to reach their conclusion, and demonstrate how it could lead to an inaccurate testimony. 

Reach out to an expert witness service like Forensic Employment & Compensation Consulting if you need help finding an expert witness for your court case.