Expert witness testimony can often make or break a case. Unfortunately, truck accident injury cases occur with great frequency on the roadways of our state and are often quite complex. When serious, life-altering injuries and deaths occur, the stakes become much higher. Expert witness testimony often comes in to play in these types of cases and can significantly impact the outcome for victims and their families. A Truck Accident attorney in Port St. Lucie, Florida can help wade through the complexities of these types of cases.
So What Type of Expert Testimony is Permitted?
Florida Statute Section 90.702 is the applicable statute that controls the admissibility of expert testimony. In 2017, the Florida Legislature sought to amend the evidence code to govern the admissibility of expert testimony. The amendment attempted to incorporate a U.S. Supreme Court case called Daubert vs. Merrell Dow, which set forth stringent standards as it related to expert testimony. Under Daubert, the trial judge became a gatekeeper and decided whether the expert’s opinions were reliable for a jury to hear the testimony. The concern with Daubert was that a trial judge’s decision could prevent the jury from determining the facts of the case. In essence, the trial judge could simply strike the testimony of the expert, leaving the parties unable to prove their case.
Florida’s standards have shifted in recent years .The Florida Bar declined to adopt the recommendations and wanted to use a different standard regarding the admissibility of expert testimony using a D.C. Circuit Court case called Frye vs. United States instead. Frye was considered to be more liberal and allowed expert opinion if it was “generally accepted” as reliable in the relevant scientific community. Just this past summer, our Florida Supreme Court recently came down on the side of following Daubert instead of Frye when it comes to the admissibility of expert testimony.
So, what does this mean for individuals pursuing injury or death claims caused by a truck accident? It is absolutely crucial to have an experienced injury attorney on your side to ensure that the expert’s testimony is admitted by the judge and allowed to be considered by the jury.
An experienced truck accident attorney truly is the last line of defense. These professionals have access to the expert testimony that can change the complexion of an entire case. Any truck accident case that takes place will need to be handled by attorneys that are familiar with the laws and court procedures that are going to be used to decide on a final verdict.