The following is an excerpt from a brand new chapter on experts in the latest edition of our Personal Injury Handbook. This excerpt concerns the importance of hiring experts early in litigation.
“It is generally a mistake to wait until the last couple of months before trial to select and retain an expert. There are certainly situations in which the need for a particular expert does not arise until late in the game, but more often than not, delay in securing the right expert is simply a result of procrastination. An expert hired early on can assist in these areas:
Identify strengths and weaknesses. A good expert can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You may learn through consultation with an expert that a particular case should not be brought at all. Better to learn that early than late.
Guide discovery. A good expert can also help guide your discovery by giving you a list of information that he or she will need in order to render an opinion. An expert may be able to point you towards industry standards that will provide good material for depositions of defense witnesses.
Resolve damages issues. Getting physicians and other damages experts lined up early will help you identify and resolve difficult damages issues long before the defense has even given much thought to these issues. Having all your ducks in a row on damages early on will be a huge asset in trial preparation and in settlement discussions. You will be able to proceed with the confidence of knowing the real value of your case.”
To order a copy of the Personal Injury Handbook, see the James Publishing website.