Personal injury cases are highly complex. Thousands of personal injury cases are registered yearly, but only some ever go to trial. These cases require thorough and expert analysis from both sides to be successful; that’s why it is recommended that you consult a personal injury lawyer near you if you’ve suffered from a personal injury and seek rightful compensation for your damages.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s findings, fewer than 16,397 cases reach court yearly, meaning only 4% of all claims go to trial.
Expert witnesses can play a significant role in introducing complex evidence to courts or juries; their specialized knowledge and opinions are invaluable for formulating a solid case for the plaintiff or defendant. This article covers the various types of expert witness testimony needed in personal injury cases and how they can create a compelling claim or defense.
Role of an Expert Witness
Expert witnesses are often consulted in personal injury cases. They are not observers of the incident but professionals who have expertise in fields pertinent to the case. Both parties may need to call on one or more experts, depending on the complexity of the lawsuit. The court will hear from them to gain further information or to understand a subject related to personal injury cases, as they were not present at the accident scene.
Types of Expert Witnesses
When it comes to a personal injury case, choosing the right kind of expert witness is essential. An experienced lawyer can help select the type of expert witness best suited for a lawsuit.
Here are some common types of expert witnesses necessary in personal injury cases:
- Accident Reconstruction Experts – These experts are specialists in determining the cause of accidents, utilizing data from physical evidence and accident reports, analytical models, computer-aided programs, and scientific devices to ascertain vehicle speed, impact force, and potential injuries.
- Life Care Planner – They are responsible for evaluating an individual’s life after a disability, disability management, and future care expense and income loss calculation. Their testimony includes reasons for decreased earning capacity, difficulties in fulfilling job requirements, estimates of life expectancy, and diminished quality of life caused by injury.
- Vocational Specialist – These witnesses assess the type of work that the injured party performed during the years preceding the accident to determine the probability that their skills can be transferred to new employment after their injury. Vocational specialists testify on how an injury affects someone’s ability to take specific jobs and how it affects their marketability. In addition, they demonstrate how a serious injury has reduced an individual’s earning capacity.
- Mechanical Expert – An engineering or technical expert presents evidence of personal injury accidents from the aspect of mechanical equipment, such as product defects that are potentially implicated in accidents involving cars, trains, trucks, or manufacturing equipment.
- Medical Expert – These are medically educated/trained individuals who identify injuries necessitating proper medical care following a finding from reviewing the facts in each case and formulating answers regarding any relevant medical concerns based on such points. This role also evaluates the current conditions of injured parties to determine necessary medical care in both present and future contexts.
- Economic Expert – These experts determine the monetary losses experienced by victims involved in an accident through evaluations that incorporate current/future financial losses such as medical costs, long-term medical costs, wages lost, and predicted lack of compensation due.
- Mental Health Experts – Mental health experts regularly provide expertise in personal injury cases that involve a claim of pain and suffering. Their testimony can help the judge or jury understand the mental anguish experienced by victims who have suffered a severe injury or may never recover fully due to their condition. These experts are instrumental in helping the court assess the victim’s current and future mental state and determine whether damages should be awarded.
Expert witnesses are integral to any personal injury case and provide valuable insight. These individuals possess specialized knowledge, from medical experts to accident reconstructionists to financial analysts. They can utilize this knowledge to help prove a plaintiff’s case or shield a defendant from liability. Expert witness testimony is essential in many cases; without it, justice may not be served.