Anyone injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence may file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. When a case goes to court, both the plaintiff and defendant often call upon expert witness testimony to strengthen their arguments. If you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit in Rockville, TX, Navasota, TX, or elsewhere in the state, your attorney may retain expert witnesses to help prove the at-fault party’s liability and also prove the value of your damages.
How Can Witness Testimony Help You in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
An expert witness is a professional with extensive specialist qualifications, knowledge, and experience in a field related to a personal injury case. Expert witnesses are commonly used to clarify the events of an accident and explain complex technical issues to the jury. For example, an accident reconstruction expert might demonstrate how the other driver caused the car crash that injured you.
In a medical malpractice case, a surgical practitioner expert might explain how your surgeon negligently breached the expected standard of care while operating on you. And a forensic accountant expert might help prove how much income you’re going to lose in the future as a result of a catastrophic injury that prevents you from working.
Experts Can Help Prove the Defendant’s Liability
As the injured victim in a personal injury case, you must prove that the other party was liable for your injuries. But this liability will often be disputed by the insurance company or defendant’s legal team.
When liability is disputed, you’ll hopefully have eyewitnesses, surveillance camera footage, and other strong evidence to prove your claim. But if you’re lacking such evidence, expert witness testimony can play a crucial role in proving the responsibility of the defendant and winning you fair compensation. Hiring an expert witness or two can often make all the difference to the success of a claim or lawsuit.
Car Accident Cases
The most common type of expert witness used in car accident lawsuits is an accident reconstruction expert. Such an expert can explain the exact sequence of events that occurred in an accident, using visual aids and even 3D models during their presentation. An engineer or road safety expert might also be retained to show how unsafe road conditions contributed to a crash.
Individuals who’ve suffered a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s premises frequently lack eyewitnesses or video evidence to prove what occurred. In these cases, proving how unsafe conditions caused their injuries might require the help of engineers, architects, building safety inspectors, maintenance professionals, and similarly qualified experts.
One of the hardest personal injury claims to pursue is medical malpractice. This is primarily because liability is so hard to pin down. To win compensation, the plaintiff must prove that their physician failed to act in accordance with an expected standard of care, which resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. The problem is that injurious accidents occasionally happen even when a physician acts with all due care and diligence.
To win these challenging medical malpractice cases, attorneys often call upon various specialist medical practitioners to explain the complexities of the relevant field of medicine. An anesthesiologist might help prove negligent use of anesthesia during an operation; an obstetrician could prove how a birth injury was caused by a breach of protocol.
Expert witnesses also often play an important role in product liability cases where the victim has been harmed by a defective product. These cases can sometimes be extensive class action lawsuits, with multiple victims facing the powerful legal teams of the defendant company.
In order to prove how the product was hazardously defective and resulted in your injuries, your attorney can call upon all manner of experts. These might include manufacturing experts, product safety experts, design experts, pharmaceutical experts, and more.
Experts Can Help Prove the Value of Your Damages
When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you may also find your damages disputed. Damages are the financial compensation you may legally recover for each of your losses following an accident. The total compensation you receive will depend on how well your attorney can prove the value of each damage, which often requires expert witness testimony.
Medical Practitioner Experts
With relatively minor accident injuries, the resulting medical costs are often quite straightforward to prove as you can simply present the hospital bills you’ve been forced to pay. But when injuries are more severe and complex, it can become trickier to prove the total cost.
In particular, when an accident victim has long-lasting or permanent injuries, they must estimate the total future costs of their treatment and seek damages for that entire figure. Proving such an uncertain prediction usually requires an expert medical practitioner with detailed knowledge of your injury type and the typical timeframe and costs of recovery.
Proving the Cause of Your Injuries
Sometimes liability for the accident is accepted, but the insurance company argues that the victim’s injuries were pre-existing to some degree and therefore not caused in whole by the accident. To refute this argument, in addition to your prior medical records, your lawyer may also use expert witness testimony: your physician or other medical experts can explain how your injuries were caused entirely by the accident.
Vocational Rehabilitation Experts
Lost wages may also sometimes become difficult to prove, especially when your job or business has an unusually complex payment structure or you’ve lost the capacity to work and must prove the estimated value of future lost wages. In these cases, a vocational expert might help to prove exactly how your career or business has been disrupted by your injuries.
And an economist, forensic accountant, or expert in your specific field of work might help estimate and prove how much income you’re going to miss out on over the following years. Without expert witnesses, it can be exceedingly hard to estimate and prove future lost wages.
Clinical Psychologist Experts
You may also be seeking non-economic damages in your claim. Non-economic damages are damages that don’t have a specific price tag attached, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment in life. As these damages are more subjective in nature, they can be harder to prove and frequently require the help of expert witnesses.
Accidents often result in a great deal of emotional distress in the victim, for example, such as trauma, anger, depression, and loss of sleep. A clinical psychologist expert may be retained to demonstrate how much these negative emotional experiences have hindered your life and wellbeing, thereby proving the validity and value of your emotional distress damages.
Finding Expert Witnesses in Rockville, TX, or Navasota, TX
Without the help of an attorney, it can be difficult to know which expert witnesses are required for a case. It can also be very challenging to find and retain the right experts and train them for the courtroom.
Experienced personal injury attorneys have access to a network of local expert witnesses in all manner of fields of expertise. Accessing this network of experts is one of the many benefits gained when hiring a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer also knows exactly how to use an expert witness to maximum effect.
If you need a seasoned personal injury lawyer to handle your case, contact Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-364-5346 for a free consultation. Since 2006, Brian C. Gutierrez has been supporting local Texan accident victims and helping them gain the fair compensation they deserve.