Florida law defines an expert witness as “a person duly and regularly engaged in the practice of a profession who holds a professional degree from a university of college and has had special professional training and experience, or one possessed of special knowledge or skill about the subject upon which called to testify” (Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.390)
An eye expert witness may be called upon to provide opinions and testimony in areas that include surgery, eye injury, glaucoma, toxic eye injury, and ocular trauma. Since July 2013, Florida adopted the Daubert standard form admissibility of expert testimony. The Daubert standard examines the expert’s facts, principles, and methods. The Daubert standard is described in Florida statute 90.702.
Florida law authorizes physicians from another state to provide verifying written medical expert opinions and testimony regarding standard of care. In order to qualify, physicians from another state are required to apply for a issuance of an expert witness certificate. Applications for an expert witness certificate are generally approved within ten business days after receipt of a completed application and payment of the application for of $50.00. The Florida expert witness certificate is valid for two years after the date of issuance. Eye expert witnesses who have qualified for expert witness certification in the past are often chosen to serve as qualified expert witnesses in Florida.
A board-certified ophthalmologist who serves as an eye expert witness is often called on to review care provided by other physicians or evaluate ocular injury inflicted through industrial or motor vehicle accidents. Dog bites, eye infections, and ocular injuries caused by exposure to toxic substances are other areas that may be reviewed. Care provided by other physicians that may be reviewed by an ocular expert witness include cataract surgery, lens implants, treatment of glaucoma, and corneal damage. Industrial injuries often consist of ocular trauma from machinery or exposure to toxic substances leading to eye damage and loss of vision. Based on the needs of the case, expert reports followed by testimony in deposition or trial may be needed.