When you pursue a personal injury claim after a car accident, slip and fall incident or other kind of injury accident, your personal injury lawyer may advise you that your case requires the services of an expert witness. Expert witnesses can be used in different ways within a personal injury claim to help develop a case strategy, build evidence and prove your claims. It’s important to understand what the different types of expert witnesses are and what benefits they bring to your case.
The Role of Witnesses in a Personal Injury Case
In personal injury cases, witnesses may be leveraged to help provide clarity on complex, uncertain or disputed issues. For example, a lay person may be called as a witness if they saw the accident take place and can provide an objective statement about how it occurred based on their own opinion. Expert witnesses are much different from lay person witnesses.
An expert witness is someone qualified to provide testimony or a consultation on a specific area related to your claim. Expert witnesses possess a variety of skills and traits that qualify them to provide objective, specialized testimony to the court or to your personal injury attorney such as:
- Educational background and experience
- Professional background and credentials
- Peer-reviewed journal article authorship
- Favorable reputation
- Prior experience as an expert witness
Expert witnesses can be consulting experts who do not testify in court; however, your attorney will use their expertise to help formulate an approach to your case. Other times, an expert witness is used to provide testimony to a judge or jury in a personal injury trial.
Types of Expert Witnesses
There are many types of subject matters for which expert witnesses can be used in personal injury cases. Some experts could be used to prove the injured victim’s injuries, medical treatment and expected outcome, others may offer testimony related to liability and how the accident occured while other subject matter experts may provide information to estimate future losses. Types of expert witnesses include:
Health and Medical Experts
Medical experts have detailed knowledge and understanding of how injuries and trauma can affect different parts of the body and what’s possible after recovery. Medical experts may testify why your injuries leave you unable to work in the same job. The medical expert may also explain how extensive treatment and therapy require compensation.
After a serious vehicle accident, your car accident lawyer may recommend an accident reconstructionist. This expert gathers data and evidence such as weather conditions, speed, phone records, pictures and video to fully understand how the accident occurred and who may be liable. This person often creates a timeline to explain the sequence of events that led to the accident.
Many different types of engineering experts could be used in a personal injury case. Structural engineers may work alongside the accident reconstructionist to determine road safety or hazards that may have contributed to the accident. Mechanical engineers are often needed to provide testimony on defective parts or systems that may be to blame. And chemical engineers can be called to testify about drugs, pharmaceuticals and toxicology results.
Economic Experts in Personal Injury Cases
If you’ve been out of work or can no longer return your work, an economic expert helps you understand how much your claim is worth. This expert accounts for the medical bills, lost wages, non-economic damages like pain and suffering as well as your future losses to determine the maximum possible compensation. An economic expert may add information about how much income you would be expected to lose in the future if you’re never able to return to your previous job.
Benefits of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases
Not every personal injury case requires the services of an expert witness, though they are highly beneficial when used. Expert witnesses can break down a complex topic into something more understandable and relatable for a judge or jury. And, an expert witness’s testimony is often considered more unbiased and objective, which can make it more easily accepted by a judge or jury. Your personal injury lawyer will recommend using an expert witness based on your case and situation.
Brandon J. Broderick is Here for You 24/7
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the top-rated personal injury law firms in the area. With offices in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida, we’ve got you covered. If you need help getting full and fair compensation for your injuries after an accident, contact us today for a free consultation.