Every year, millions of people are injured in preventable accidents that occur due to someone else's negligence, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and even dog bite attacks. If you've been seriously injured in an accident, you will usually be entitled to compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, future estimated losses, and more.
Personal injury cases often involve issues of liability, proof, damages, and evidence that require expert testimony and witnesses. You may be hesitant to hire an expert witness because you may not understand the need to hire a doctor or car accident expert when there were witnesses at the scene and you have your own physician to testify. However, even though expert witnesses cost money, using an expert witness can help make or break a case if you've been involved in an accident.
What Is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is a person who testifies during a trial because of their special knowledge or proficiency in a field that is relevant to the case. An expert witness has scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will assist a jury in better understanding the evidence or help the jury come to a conclusion about a fact that is being disputed. Personal injury attorneys often have access to multiple expert witnesses that can be used in a case.
How an Expert Witness Can Help a Personal Injury Case
If you've been involved in an accident, you may have a hard time remembering exactly what happened, the speed at which things happened, and even what happened afterwards. This is where an expert witness is helpful. For example, in car, motorcycle, boating, and train accidents, a commonly used expert witness is the accident reconstructionist. An accident reconstructionist uses engineering principles to help them recreate how the accident happened and then renders an opinion on what actually caused an accident to happen. They use all information available to them such as the weight of each vehicle, witness reports, photographs, measurements, weather information and more to help them recreate what actually caused an accident.
Other expert witnesses in personal injury cases may be unrelated to how the accident actually happened but can provide insight into how your life may change moving forward. For example, a life care planning expert may be able to help a jury better understand what your future medical care costs would be and what medical care is needed to allow you to function at the highest level possible if you've been seriously injured in an accident.
The Benefits of an Expert Witness
Expert witnesses are not required, but victims of car accidents, slip and fall accidents and even medical malpractice may opt to have an expert witness to help strengthen their claim.
There are many benefits to having an expert witness for a personal injury claim, including:
- The ability to obtain expert analysis, review, and opinions that are relevant to your personal injury case
- The expert witness may be able to provide a clear explanation of what happened during the accident
- The expert witness' testimony may serve as additional evidence
- The testimony from an expert witness may help to persuade a judge or jury to support your claim
Although expert witnesses are not required, hiring an expert witness for your personal injury case can be extremely beneficial, especially if you've been seriously injured. If you've been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, the first thing you should do is to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney. They'll be able to look over your case, help you find expert witnesses, and represent you during your personal injury case.