This is the next article in my series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Peoria, Illinois. My last post discussed how the discovery process can be used to establish a property owner’s negligence after a fall. It is important to remember that discovery requires the defendant(s) to provide written answers to questions, as well as records that may provide evidence. This is crucial for slip and fall cases because it can be used to obtain, for instance, security footage that shows the hazardous condition existed. Discovery is a highly complicated process and it is suggested that you retain an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you. In this article, I will discuss the importance of expert witnesses in slip and fall cases. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a slip and fall lawyer.
The Illinois Rules of Evidence allows qualified expert witnesses to testify to help the jury better understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue. An expert is qualified if they have knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education in a specific field. It should be noted that people without such expertise, otherwise known as “lay witnesses,” are prohibited from sharing their opinions on such matters. They may only base their opinions on information they personally observed. This is because the average person is not considered credible with respect to these subjects.
When used correctly, expert witnesses are incredibly valuable in slip and fall cases. When a slip and fall case is brought, there are several questions that arise which may require an expert’s opinion. This often includes questions about who is at fault. For example, a restaurant owner is required to meet a certain standard of care when dealing with customers. This involves taking reasonable steps to clean spillages. Someone with several years of experience in the restaurant industry might be a valuable expert witness in a case involving a slip and fall at such an establishment. This expert might be useful in helping the jury to better understand the industry standard for procedures when spillages occur in restaurants. This will allow the jury to grasp how a restaurant owner should be aware of and respond to situations where liquid is spilled on the ground of their establishment.
Further, a medical expert might be important in order to help the jury better understand the plaintiff’s injuries. A physician who is treating the plaintiff can testify regarding the treatment plan and costs affiliated with the plaintiff’s condition. In this case, the physician would be the expert witness because they are an experienced and educated medical professional that is personally treating the plaintiff. Medical experts are key witnesses in slip and fall cases where a plaintiff’s injuries may be at issue. Their experience in the medical field helps the jury better understand what caused the injuries in question. They can also be useful for helping the jury determine how much to award in damages.
It is, therefore, extremely important for plaintiffs to have proper experts available to testify about their injuries. I cannot overemphasize the need to hire an experienced attorney if you have been involved in a slip and fall on another’s property. Experienced lawyers are skilled at handling expert witnesses at trial. Subjects which require expert witnesses are often incredibly complicated. It is very important to not confuse the jury when using such testimony. It could pose negative consequences for your case if the jury does not understand the facts or evidence at hand. It is therefore important to retain an attorney with extensive experience dealing with personal injury matters.
If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria slip and fall lawyer. My office believes in protecting the rights of people, as opposed to corporations. We are proud of the level of service which we provide and we will ensure you know what to expect as your case moves forward. Contact us online or by telephone today. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.