There are reasons to be wary of using expert witnesses. They can be expensive. And their job is not to argue your case – they are paid to provide objective facts and analysis.
But, as technology changes faster and faster, expert witnesses are often critical to the success of a personal injury lawsuit. An expert witness is someone with specific knowledge in a field who is brought in to provide a professional opinion during a trial.
An expert witness’s testimony may be necessary to establish liability, the amount of damages, or future medical expenses. Regardless, knowing who to call and getting the right experts on board can make the difference between winning and losing in any personal injury case.
Determining Liability in an Auto Accident Case
Accident reconstructionists use a systematic, scientific approach to determine how and why an accident happened.
They take data such as the final resting place of vehicles involved and length of skid marks and use principles of physics and engineering to flesh out the story of what happened – how fast were the vehicles traveling, what was visibility like at the time of the crash, and what driver behavior contributed to the accident?
Reconstructionists often have a background in law enforcement, engineering, or automotive technology. In an auto accident lawsuit, the most important question tackled by accident reconstructionists is, simply, “Who was to blame?”
Medical experts can help tie the plaintiff’s injuries to the accident. They may testify that the injuries were caused by the accident, or they may argue that pre-existing injuries were made worse by the accident. This can be important because insurance companies often try to argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident and therefore they should not pay.
If your attorney believes the at-fault driver was distracted, a cell phone expert may be put on the stand. A detailed examination of phone records may determine that the at-fault driver was distracted by a call that was taken or a text that was sent in the moments leading up to the accident.
When an accident involves a commercial vehicle, determining liability involves a close examination of factors that may not apply to other accidents. A commercial trucking expert can testify as to whether a commercial vehicle’s maintenance was neglected or if the company and driver were complying with federal regulations.
Using Experts to Establish Damages in an Auto Accident Case
In addition to helping determine liability, medical experts can play a part in putting a number on damages.
By determining the nature and extent of the injuries, they can estimate how much care will be needed in the future, and how much that care will cost. Future medical costs could include surgeries, rehabilitation services, injections, and ongoing tests.
When an injury causes you to miss work, figuring out exactly how much money you are losing can be complicated. Your attorney may bring in an economist to provide expert testimony to determine how much compensation you are entitled to.
An expert in vocational rehabilitation can provide testimony about your ability, considering your injuries, to keep your old job, get a new job, or maintain any job in the future.
Any time an accident results in a long-term disability, a life-care planner can also provide expert testimony as to what will be needed to provide reasonable care for a person over the course of a lifetime.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, get the right experts on board to help you win your case and maximize your compensation. Schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form today.