Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases
The role of an expert witness in a personal injury claim is to help you prove aspects of your case necessary to recover compensation for your injuries. In some cases, consulting expert witnesses is necessary to prove liability or fault for a car accident. Hiring an expert witness may be necessary to prove the extent of a person’s injuries.
Personal injury attorneys determine whether expert witnesses are needed on a case-by-case basis. Whenever fault or damages are disputed, hiring an expert witness can increase the chance of a successful outcome for your injury claim.
What Are Expert Witnesses?
An expert witness has expertise or unique knowledge in a field related to your personal injury case. The court recognizes that a person is an expert based on their knowledge, skill, education, and training.
A testifying expert witness can provide opinions about certain subjects instead of testifying only to the facts of the case. Experts often explain complicated or specialized evidence in ways that the jury can understand. The judge and jury can use the information provided by expert witnesses to make a decision in the case.
Most expert witnesses have advanced degrees in their area of expertise. They may have published papers in peer-reviewed journals or may have received special recognition for their work.
Expert witnesses offer opinions regarding objective facts. They are retained to help prove the other party is responsible for your damages based on the evidence in your case.
Because they are objective witnesses, they will not argue the validity of the legal action. They are retained to provide expert opinions or refute testimony and evidence presented by the other party. Even though they may not have witnessed the accident, they can offer opinions about how your injury occurred based on their review of the facts of the case.
Expert witnesses may be retained to assist with a variety of personal injury cases, including:
- Motor vehicle cases
- Wrongful death claims
- Medical malpractice cases
- Product liability claims
- Commercial truck accidents
- Premises liability claims
The specific expert witness hired to assist with your personal injury case depends on the type of case and the disputed issues in your case.
Types of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases
There are many different types of expert witnesses used in personal injury lawsuits. A few of the common types of expert witnesses that could be retained for an injury claim include, but are not limited to:
Medical experts are necessary in medical malpractice cases to establish the standard of care a health professional was supposed to provide in a certain examination, treatment, and procedure. They can also testify about how the doctor’s actions deviated from the standard of care.
Medical experts are also used in other personal injury cases to provide information about the severity of the person’s injuries. A medical expert can help the jury understand how a person’s injuries and impairments may negatively impact their life.
Accident Reconstruction Expert
Reconstructing a traffic accident can help determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible for the cause of the collision. Accident reconstructionists may testify about steering angles, acceleration, collision speed, crashworthiness, braking, and other factors related to motor vehicle accidents.
Economists and Other Financial Experts
Financial experts are often used in personal injury cases to estimate the cost of future damages. Future damages may be awarded when a victim sustains a permanent disability or impairment. The damages may include reductions in earning potential, ongoing medical expenses, and future loss of income.
Vocational Rehabilitation Experts
A vocational rehabilitation expert may provide testimony and opinions regarding a person’s mental and physical limitations caused by an injury. The expert may testify that a person cannot perform certain types of work because of an injury. They can be instrumental in proving a person’s diminished earning potential because of a severe injury.
Engineers, Designers, and Manufacturing Experts
These experts may be retained to investigate a defective product claim. They provide testimony and opinions about why a product is defective and how that defect caused an injury. Their expertise can expose design defects and defects that occurred during the manufacturing process.
Mental Health Experts
Mental trauma and emotional distress can cause considerable damages after an accident or injury. An injury victim may suffer from depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other psychological conditions. A mental health expert can explain the extent of a victim’s pain and suffering.
Many Other Types of Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses exist in almost every field related to personal injury claims. Examples of other expert witnesses include:
- Highway safety experts
- Lifecare planners
- DOT regulations specialist
- EDR and ECM specialists (data recovered from a vehicle’s black box or electronic control module)
- Pain management specialist
- Orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, and other specialists
- Medical examiners
- Forensic specialists
The type of expert you might need for your case depends on many factors. An attorney determines the types of expert witnesses necessary to prove your claims of fault and liability for an injury claim.
Contact Our Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
You can get the legal advice you need from an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer free of charge. Call our law firm or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your personal injury case.
We value our attorney-client relationship with each client. Our legal team diligently works to achieve the best result possible for each client.