Expert Witness Exchange: Expert Beware
Liability Claims May Follow
In this article, the Expert Witness Exchange (EWE) discusses expert witness liability exposure.
Expert witnesses provide a great service to our court system in the United States, as well as in many other countries around the world. They are often sought out by attorneys to offer their opinion in legal matters without having any personal stake in the outcome. Most of the time, experts will be retained by an attorney, offer their opinion, get paid, and be on their way. However, this is not always the case as experts can fall victim to liability claims, leaving them with no option but to hire a lawyer and try to defend themselves.
There are several different ways in which an expert can fall victim to a liability claim, with each state having different laws to further complicate the situation. Experts can feel as if they provided nothing short of 100% true and accurate testimony, and when all is said and done, still face a liability claim. Though it is not common for experts to face such a claim, it does still happen, especially when the expert either is not neutral or picks and chooses facts that help the party that has retained them. Thankfully, there are ways for experts to protect themselves that do not leave them paying money out of pocket for an attorney.
Just as the most experienced surgeons in the country likely have malpractice insurance as a protection measure despite their incredible talent, expert witnesses can obtain errors and omissions (E&O) insurance plans as well. E&O insurance, in large part, is legal defense coverage that assures experts that they are protected if they ever face a liability claim. Though the hope is that experts will never need to use the coverage, it helps to provide peace of mind, just as most insurance policies are intended to do.
Expert Witness Exchange has looked at the risks that expert witnesses are faced with and decided we need to make coverage more known. That is why we have a page on our website that explains more about what E&O insurance is and how it can protect experts. It is strongly recommended that all experts look more into E&O insurance to see if they are willing to invest in the protection. However, before settling on any insurance policy, it is best to ensure all policies have been thoroughly reviewed and the chosen policy is really the best fit.
It is not pleasant to think about the possibility that you could be sued as an expert witness, especially when you feel that you were nothing other than professional and completely honest in your opinion. However, it remains a possibility in many cases. Take some time, research different insurance policies, weigh your options, and decide whether you believe you should invest in the protection. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
Micah Hardy is a student at the University of Connecticut and has worked for Expert Witness Exchange for over a year. He is graduating spring of 2019 and plans to attend law school fall of the same year.
Mr. Hardy can be contacted at (806) 206-5012 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.