When you file a personal injury claim, it is very likely that someone more knowledgeable than you has explained the details of the accident to you, whether that person was your mechanic looking into the physical evidence of your crash, your doctor examining the damage done after a bad fall or your attorney explaining the liability concerns in your particular situation.
It is not uncommon for you to rely on the explanations of others to build your case because you might not be an expert on what happened or why it happened, and you may not know how to prove legal liability.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim (or plaintiff) must prove that the other party (the defendant) should be held responsible, with a reasonable degree of certainty. Sometimes, this degree of certainty involves detailing what happened in an accident and how the defendant caused (or failed to prevent) the accident from occurring. There are times, however, when the circumstances are more complex and the use of an expert witness to explain the situation could make or break the case.
What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is a person with a specific background in science, technology or another specialized field. The witness’ goal is to clearly explain to a jury the evidence or data presented in a case, either to provide clarity or further understanding of the situation at hand. If you’re using an expert witness, the evidence he or she explains must be based on facts and data and the testimony provided must be the result of legitimate analysis of this data.
In a personal injury case, there are several types of expert witnesses who could help explain or clarify what happened. Most physical injury cases, for example, rely on testimony from medical experts who can provide information about specific injuries or complications suffered by the plaintiff.
Doctors and surgeons can testify about the scope of the injuries, the cost of medical treatment, the lasting effects, and even potentially-related disabilities. Accident reconstruction specialists can be used to recreate the events that led up to a car crash, especially in cases where there is no eyewitness testimony or where that testimony has been questioned.
How Can an Expert Witness Help Me?
It’s not required that you use the testimony of an expert witness to build your case, but it is recommended. In cases where injuries are extensive, the incident at issue is complex or out of the ordinary, or the events of the accident are contested, an expert witness can provide the jury with guidance and a clearer understanding.
An expert witness can also help you understand exactly what happened to you, especially after a serious trauma or a head injury that may leave you disoriented and without full knowledge of an incident. For plaintiffs who have been in car accidents or have sustained severe injuries by some other means, an expert in accident analysis can explain how the injuries occurred.
If you have a personal injury case, you should use all the resources at your disposal to help build your claim. For more information on expert witnesses, contact an attorney at Levine Law, a Denver personal injury law firm, today.