How Personal Attorneys Use Expert Testimony | The Different Types of Expert Witnesses
When you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, or any other type of accident, as the result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, the law gives you the right to file a personal injury claim in civil court, seeking full and fair compensation for all your losses. That includes damages for lost wages or income, unreimbursed medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and any property damage or loss sustained in the accident.
To succeed with a personal injury claim, you must generally prove that the defendant (party from who you seek monetary compensation) acted negligently. Negligence requires that you establish that:
- The defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would have under the circumstances
- The defendant’s unreasonable behavior caused an accident, and
- You suffered actual losses as a result of the accident
There are a number of ways of proving your allegations of negligence. You may bring in eyewitnesses, who will testify regarding what they saw or heard. In addition, you can introduce physical evidence to support your claim. That often includes pictures of your injuries, the damage to vehicles, broken steps or stairs, or other physical factors that caused or contributed to the accident.
In most instances, though, it’s essential to bring in expert witnesses to help the judge and jury understand the facts and rule in your favor.
What Is the Function of Expert Witness Testimony?
The two critical components of a personal injury claim are liability and damages. Liability refers to proving who caused the accident and how it was caused. Damages addresses the amount of compensation needed to make the plaintiff whole. Expert testimony is commonly used to prove both elements of your claim.
To establish liability, your attorney will commonly retain an accident reconstruction specialist, someone with special training to determine the causes of an accident. Typically an engineer, this person will usually travel to the scene of the accident, measure skid marks, look at damage to the vehicles, and put together some sort of visual representation of what happened. Your attorney may also use a medical expert to identify the causes of a particular injury.
To get an accurate measure of your damages (total losses), you’ll probably need both a medical expert and a financial expert. The medical expert can testify regarding the likelihood of recovery, as well as the length of time and the care required during recovery. A financial expert can calculate all your losses and determine a present value.
Contact the Proven Accident Injury Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we understand how a personal injury can change your life. We’ll be your advocate throughout the legal process, helping you take the right steps to get full and fair compensation for all your losses. We can also be your liaison with insurance companies as well, so that you get all the benefits to which you are entitled. contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.