How can Hiring an Expert Witness Help Me with My Personal Injury Claim?
When an at-fault party disputes liability for causing an accident, retaining an expert witness can prove crucial to proving that his or her negligence was responsible for the accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have the resources and contacts to help you find a reliable and knowledgeable expert witness who can support your claim, so if you were injured in an accident, you should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney before proceeding with your case.
Types of Witnesses
There are two main types of witnesses in personal injury suits: lay witnesses and expert witnesses. Both of these kinds of witnesses can play an important role in determining a person’s fault or establishing the extent of damages. However, the type of witness that a person needs will depend largely on each specific case. This is because lay witnesses are not experts, but are those who witnessed an accident. In a car accident case, for example, these individuals can help establish how fast the vehicles were going prior to the collision, as well as the direction that the cars were traveling, the weather and traffic conditions, whether any statements were made by either party after the crash, whether either of the drivers was behaving recklessly, and whether there were traffic control devices at the scene. The testimony of a lay witness can make or break a case, however, in some situations, especially when there were no witnesses to an accident, a party will need the aid of an expert witness to be successful at trial.
Expert witnesses are those who have some form of specialized education, training, knowledge, or experience about a particular subject matter. However, before an expert witness can be called to testify at trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer will need to identify the individuals well in advance of the trial date and establish their qualifications. Although a variety of professionals can qualify as an expert witness, the most common include:
- Healthcare providers, including doctors and medical specialists, who can testify about the cause and severity of a plaintiff’s medical conditions and injuries;
- Accident reconstructionists, who can help demonstrate who was at fault in causing an accident;
- Vocational rehabilitation experts, who can testify about a victim’s loss of earning capacity or an inability to hold down a job as a result of the injuries he or she sustained; and
- Economists, who can help calculate the amount of an injured party’s lost wages and damages, including loss of future income.
These individuals can help prove how an accident happened and who was at fault, often through the use of computer models that are presented at trial.
Contact a Member of Our Dedicated Personal Injury Legal Team Today
If you were in an accident in Fort Lauderdale and the at-fault party is denying responsibility, you should consider retaining an expert witness who can testify at trial and help demonstrate fault and damages. There are specific rules in place regarding who can testify as an expert, so before proceeding with your case, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 to learn more about your options.