In a personal injury case, an expert witness is a person with specific technical or specialized knowledge about something. Many injury cases involve testimonies from various expert witnesses. As an auto accident victim, you should know the role an expert witness may play in your case and the expert witnesses you are likely to require.
Expert witnesses play multiple roles in auto accident cases. Here are a few specific examples of such roles.
Role of Expert Witnesses
Clarify Contested Issues
Some auto accident cases trigger complicated issues that both sides, the defendant and the plaintiff, can’t just agree on. If that happens, you may need the services of an expert witness.
For example, a car manufacturer may claim that a slippery road surface caused a car to skid, while the defendant counters that defective brakes caused the skid. Expert testimony can help settle the dispute.
Simplify Complicated Concepts
Some issues are too complicated for those outside the industry to grasp them. For example, many people don’t understand how turbocharged car engines work. The court, which includes the jury and the judge, cannot rule on an issue they don’t understand. An expert witness can explain the operations of a turbocharged car engine in clear language that everyone can understand.
Provide Professional Opinion
Expert witnesses don’t always stick to facts; sometimes they offer opinions too. The education, skills, and the experiences of an expert witness put them in a unique position to offer a qualified opinion on matters in their field. The court may not treat the opinion as a fact, but the court can still use the opinion in its decisions.
Potential Expert Witnesses
The type of expert your case requires depends on the subjects your case touches on. You might need some of the following experts in an auto accident case.
An accident reconstruction expert helps the court to understand or visualize an accident. These experts are useful in cases that don’t have eyewitnesses or video footage of the accident. An accident reconstruction expert can use skid marks, damage on the cars, injuries, terrain, and other factors to explain how an accident took place.
A financial expert will shed light on the financial impact of the accident on your life. The expert will consider the monetary losses you have already experienced as well as the potential future losses that may stem from the accident.
For example, an auto accident can leave you disabled and unable to get back to your previous job. You may also need future medical care due to the accident. The defendant should compensate you for all these losses, and the financial expert can help you quantify the losses.
An automotive engineer is not always needed in automobile accidents. However, you may need such an expert in a case that involves a defective car. The automotive engineer may explain to the court whether the defect you claim exists and whether it could have caused the accident.
The testimony of a medical professional is almost always useful in a personal injury case. A medical professional, such as a medical doctor, can explain to the court the nature of your injuries, the cause of your injuries, and the prognosis. A medical professional’s input is particularly useful for internal injuries that other people may struggle to comprehend. An auto accident lawsuit often requires a multidisciplinary team to win. A car accident lawyer should put together and lead the team to increase your chances of winning. The Cochran Firm of the Mid-South can help you put together the right team, if necessary, to win your auto accident case. Contact us for a free initial consultation if you have a potential car accident case.