The most important testimony an expert can offer in any negligence case is whether the defendant breached the requisite standard of care and if such a deviation caused the plaintiff’s injuries. But first and foremost, the standard of care must be established.
Whether a defendant breached the requisite standard of care and whether such a breach approximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries is naturally the next question in an expert’s testimony regarding negligence. But like the definition of the standard of care, deviations of said standard are equally dependent upon the particular field at issue. Naturally, whether a defendant breached his duty is case-specific. Importantly, negligence is not established from a poor result.
Though sometimes used interchangeably, it is important to remember the distinction between factual and proximate causation. While there may be some factual connection between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries, proximate cause addresses the legal (and practical) implications of holding individuals responsible only for conduct that was a foreseeable consequence of their actions. As such, when testifying to whether a defendant’s conduct proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, an expert should be equipped to opine as both the factual causation and foreseeability of the defendant’s negligence.
Overall, the legal theory of negligence and the general concepts of standard of care have evolved over the years and vary throughout the practice areas. The more familiar an expert is with the particularized circumstances of a negligence claim, the more likely that the expert’s testimony can help prove your case.
Real Estate Expert Witness Services by Craig Cherney, Esc.
Craig Cherney is a trusted client advisor and a sought after real estate expert witness who is hired by the nation’s top Real Estate Litigation Attorneys to help resolve their litigated real property matters. Craig has appeared as a testifying expert witness before judges and juries in California, Arizona, Nevada and other jurisdictions across the country. Craig Cherney, Esq. Expert Witness Real Estate. 480-399-2342.