What Goes Into an Expert Witness Report?

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expert witness report

What do you do when you have a complex issue that is crucial to your case, but difficult for an average person to understand because it is related to a highly specialized field?  You get the help of an expert witness.

The primary function of an expert witness is to explain information to the jury in a way that helps them understand something about the case. This can be anything from technicians explaining the results of forensic testing in a murder, an economist’s analysis of financial records for a fraud case, or medical billing experts discussing the importance of how medical services were charged to recover damages in an injury case.

Depending on where your case is taking place, there are different rules for what is required of an expert witness’s report in order for it to be accepted by the court. Read on below for three important tips about your expert’s report.

What is Required in the Report?

Federal courts have much stricter rules for what is required than most state courts. Generally, they want more information to be submitted, but any attorney preparing a case with an expert witness should understand the rules of their jurisdiction.

For example, your expert may be required to prepare and sign a report that will be disclosed to the opposing counsel and which includes a statement of every point the expert will make during their testimony, all of the data used to prepare such a report, what qualifies the expert to offer their opinion, any other cases they have worked on in a specified period of time.

The expert may also need to disclose what he or she is being provided in terms of compensation and the terms: for example, are they being paid a flat rate for their appearance or an hourly rate for the time it took them to prepare their report, and some means of tracking the time spent.

In-state courts, all that may be required is that the expert’s opinions are disclosed to the court. It may be advantageous for the identity of the expert to be revealed along with a formal report. This increases the chance that the expert that has been chosen will be allowed to testify on the case.

What Should Be in the Report?

The expert’s report may be given to the jury to read, so it should be able to explain the issues about which the expert will be testifying without the need for further explanation.

The whole point is to break down information that requires expert knowledge to the level that an ordinary person can draw the correct conclusions from the report. It should not be overly technical or include a lot of jargon specific to the expert’s field of study.

The expert’s report should not give too much information, as this allows opposing counsel the opportunity to do extensive cross-examination. However, if it is not detailed enough, a jury may be of the opinion that the expert is not credible enough and this could adversely affect the case.

A good approach is to strike a balance between clear and concise language, and using technical terms when they are required, but providing an explanation of what they mean so that the reader can use that information to build a basis of knowledge for reading the rest of the expert’s report.

It is useful for the expert to reference accepted studies, standards, and reputable sources that can be verified in order to lend authenticity to the claims they make within their report.

Why You Should Look at Your Expert’s Report

It is no small feat to work with an expert on preparing a report or testimony for a case. Whether or not they take the stand or their report is simply admitted as an exhibit in the trial, it is important to look over the report before submitting it to the court.

The attorney on the case should always make sure that the opinions the expert is voicing are good points and that all the opinions expressed in the report are in keeping with the facts. Medical billing experts preparing a report on the cost of treatment following an accident have the advantage of working from the numbers provided in terms of what a patient paid, but other fields may be open to more interpretation.

Most of the time, communication between an attorney and the expert preparing a report for the case is protected communication. To fall under Federal protection, this communication must be regarding either the expert’s compensation for their report, facts or information provided to the expert that they used to form their opinion, or assumptions given to the expert that they used to form their opinion.

Why You Need Medical Billing Analysts

It is highly recommended to hire medical billing experts to determine and testify to the reasonable value of medical service. The provider’s location can affect these costs and reimbursements.

Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant in a case, one of the most important items in Automobile, Personal Injury, and Medical Malpractice cases is the cost of medical bills. Figuring out medical costs can be complicated, and expert guidance is critical to ensuring you have a clear understanding of what is “fair and reasonable” with regard to the finances involved in your medical care.

Medical Billing Analysts offers litigation support services nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada & California. Medical Billing Analysts represent both defendants and plaintiffs with regard to improper medical billing and coding.

The team of MBA professionals will review the hospital, medical and therapy bills to determine the value of past medical expenses, and based on local CPT codes they can also perform a Cost Projection Analysis of future costs. Through meticulous analysis, we can justify the reasonable cost of services that assists in resolving the case.

Contact Medical Billing Analysts by phone or email at 800-292-1919 or intake@medicalbillinganalysts.com. We’re here for you, whether you need an evaluation of a single charge or a complex injury case.