EXPERT WITNESS FEE CALCULATOR

Expert witnesses fee data drawn from thousands of real cases in every area of practice.

Initial Review Fee

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FEE INFO

This represents an expert’s hourly rate for initial review of case documentation, on-site inspections, report composition, and other work done at the outset of a case.

Deposition Fee

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FEE INFO

This represents an expert’s hourly rate for participating in depositions. Experts may charge more for depositions that require them to travel, and some experts choose to bill a flat fee, daily, or half-daily rate for deposition appearances.

Court Fee

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FEE INFO

This represents an expert’s hourly rate for providing trial testimony in court. In many cases, experts will choose to bill a flat fee or daily rate for court appearances.

After compiling expert witness fee data from more than 20,000 cases, we discovered that the average rate for initial case reviews for all expert witnesses is $372/hour, the average rate for deposition appearances is $475/hour, and the average rate for trial testimony is $507/hour. The table below shows the average hourly fees for experts in some of our most-requested specialty areas.

Most Requested Medical Expert Witness Fees

This table shows national averages for the most requested expert specialties.

Specialty Initial Review Fee Deposition Fee Trial Fee
Orthopedic Surgery $570 $903 $977
Neurology $508 $663 $694
Obstetrics $422 $540 $563
Neurosurgery $782 $1,153 $1,103
Emergency Medicine $381 $493 $542
Internal Medicine $453 $564 $598
General Surgery $504 $686 $741
Cardiology $451 $573 $645
Nursing $204 $273 $315
Anesthesiology $416 $547 $613

Most Requested Non-Medical Expert Witness Fees

This table shows national averages for the most requested expert specialties.

Specialty Initial Review Fee Deposition Fee Trial Fee
General Engineering $256 $300 $334
Banking $360 $429 $481
Accident Reconstruction $239 $256 $275
Software $329 $389 $413
Retail $261 $296 $359
Economics $386 $432 $467
Automotive $247 $326 $338
OSHA $221 $275 $290
Law Enforcement $210 $258 $266
Employment $295 $356 $365

How We Got Here

This fee data is compiled from over 20,000 engagements in which The Expert Institute has paired attorneys with subject matter experts for consultation and retention, as well as information drawn from our network of practicing expert witnesses.

Some experts list their rates as flat fees or day rates, especially for deposition and trial testimony. In those cases, day rates, flat fees, and half-day rates are represented in the calculator data by an hourly figure derived from a standard 8 hour work day.

Unlike other expert fee reports, the data that powers our calculator is derived from real world expert witness engagements facilitated by The Expert Institute, making it more accurate and comprehensive than self-selected survey data.

The overwhelming majority of experts who are paired with attorneys through The Expert Institute are practicing professionals who do not advertise their services as expert witnesses. In addition, these experts may only testify on 1-5 cases annually due to their careers as academic department heads, industry leaders, and medical chiefs, and can command higher fees than their less-qualified counterparts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Average National Fees - All Experts

Initial Review Deposition Trial Testimony
$372 $475 $507

These figures represent the average hourly fees charged by experts in any subject area. Expert witness fees can vary wildly based on a number of factors, including their chosen specialty, the quality of their credentials, their location, as well as other circumstances that can change on a case-by-case basis. When considering an expert candidate for retention, it is important to evaluate their fees in light of their individual skills, credentials, and experience before making a judgement. An expert with higher fees than average may be far more valuable to your case than a less-expensive counterpart.

Average National Fees - Medical Experts

Initial Review Deposition Trial Testimony
$443 $582 $622

These figures represent the average hourly rate charged by medical expert witnesses in any specialty area. Due to their extensive education, training, and experience, as well as high demand for their services as expert witnesses, members of the medical profession will generally command higher fees as experts than their non-medical counterparts.

Average National Fees - Non-Medical Experts

Initial Review Deposition Trial Testimony
$275 $327 $350

These figures represent the average hourly rate charged by non-medical expert witnesses in specialties like engineering, accident reconstruction, and retail safety. Non-medical experts represent a wide range of professions with different levels of training and experience. Some non-medical expert specialties may make regular contributions to legal proceedings, while others are only needed on rare occasions.

Generally, experts in medical fields will command higher fees than their non-medical counterparts. Specifically, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and plastic surgeons tend to command the highest fees of all experts. However, experts in extremely specific technical fields, as well as experts retained to work on high-profile cases, may also earn higher than average fees.

Yes, some experts will have additional fees for work that will require them to travel any significant distance.

Experts may occasionally have unique billing requirements for travel expenses. Some experts may charge their full hourly rate for time spent traveling, while others will simply request reimbursement for travel expenses. It is important that experts and attorneys reach an agreement on how travel expenses will be handled before they are incurred.

Request that the attorney provide an up-front retainer (typically worth two hours of work) during your initial review of a case, which can then be replenished as needed when more work is required. It is always a good idea to make sure that your requirements for payment are communicated to the attorney as early as possible in an engagement, usually in a written retainer agreement. It is never a good idea to bill for services without letting your attorney client know what to expect ahead of time.

Provide your expert with a retainer worth about two hours of their time during the initial review of your case, which can be replenished as more work is required. This gives the expert an opportunity to estimate the amount of work your case will require based on a preliminary review of its documentation.

Experts may charge for a minimum number of hours, request per diems or additional reimbursement for expenses incurred during their work, may request that attorneys cover travel expenses such as plane tickets and hotel rooms, and more. Experts may also charge different rates as the time they spend working on a matter increases. For example, some experts might charge $400 an hour for the first 2 hours of a deposition, and $200 an hour for each subsequent hour.


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