In a court trial, to appropriately gather evidence and relevant opinions, both factual witnesses and expert witnesses will be called to testify. Although both entities offer relevant information to the case, there are fundamental differences between the two types of witnesses.
The factual witness is an individual who is knowledgeable towards the facts of the case through a direct participation or observation of the intricacies involved. For example in a murder case, a factual witness would be an observer of the actual murder or an acquaintance of the individuals involved in the case. The factual witness simply delivers truthful statements regarding the character of those involved or an account of what they saw take place.
In contrast, an expert witness is an individual who holds a specialized knowledge in a particular educational field concerning the case. For example, an expert witness can be a doctor who is well-versed in a particular field of medicine. As an expert witness the individual will use his or her advanced knowledge of a particular subject to elucidate on a piece of information regarding the trial to facilitate an appropriate verdict.