Expert Witness Fee Calculator

Compare expert witness rates in thousands of specialties across all 50 states.

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Average rates

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After compiling expert witness fee data from more than 35,000 cases, we discovered that the average rate for initial case reviews for all expert witnesses is $356/hour, the average rate for deposition appearances is $448/hour, and the average rate for trial testimony is $478/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

Below are the national averages for the most frequently requested expert specialties within the medical field.

Our data

Our Expert Witness Fee Calculator compiles fee data from more than 50,000 expert-attorney connections the Expert Institute has facilitated as well as information drawn from thousands of expert witnesses in our network.

The overwhelming majority of experts who are paired with attorneys through the Expert Institute are actively-practicing professionals who don’t advertise their services online. 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 more junior or retired counterparts.

Although most experts request billing at an hourly rate, some experts charge daily rates for deposition appearances and courtroom testimony. We have accounted for this discrepancy by dividing daily expert rates by 8 to reflect a typical 8-hour work day.

How it works


What expert specialties command the highest fees?

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.

Do experts charge more for work that requires travel?

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

How do experts typically handle travel expenses?

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.

What are some best practices for charging for my services as an expert?

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.

What are some best practices for dealing with payment of expert witnesses as an attorney?

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.

What are some common requests that experts can make in their fee schedule?

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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