Definition - What does Expert Witness mean?
An expert witness refers to an individual who testifies in court on a specific area that the person is considered to be an expert in. Typically, the expert witness was not present at the scene of the crime or accident, but is asked to give his or her scientifically sound opinion of what happened based on the facts of the case.
Justipedia explains Expert Witness
For example, imagine that an individual is being charged with the crime of arson for burning their neighbor's house down. Most judges, lawyers, and jurors do not know what to look for when determining where the root cause of a fire. However, most firefighters are trained in being able to determine the cause of a fire. A lawyer could bring in a firefighter as an expert witness to give the jury a reliable answer as to what caused the fire.
Expert witnesses must present their credentials to the court. Most often, expert witnesses are paid a fee by the party that hired them.