Expert witnesses often play a crucial role in determining car accident cases. The right expert witness can help give credence and weight to your car accident case.
Expert witnesses generally give an in-depth analysis of the accident and their professional opinions. They also help attorneys form a concrete understanding of the events leading to the accident and the accident itself.
That said, it’s important to understand the different types of expert witnesses you could be working with during your case. Let’s discuss what an expert witness is and the five primary types of expert witnesses in car accident cases.
What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is someone who is allowed to testify because of special knowledge or proficiency in a field that is relevant to the case. Five of the most common experts that testify in car accidents include:
- medical experts
- accident reconstruction experts
- highway safety experts
- mental health experts
Medical Expert Witnesses
Medical experts are staples for injury cases after car accidents. A medical expert witness is usually an independent practitioner who reviews your injury and gives their professional opinion about it. Medical expert witnesses fall into different types, depending on the type and extent of the injury.
Of course, medical expert witnesses aren’t mandatory in all injury cases. The nature of your case will determine whether you’ll need a medical expert witness.
Accident Reconstruction Expert
Accident reconstruction expert witnesses are also vital in most car accident cases. As the name implies, these experts help reconstruct the events leading to the accident and the actual accident. They confirm the veracity of the victim’s assertions and help identify any loopholes with other witnesses’ accounts.
Accident reconstruction experts link the events of the accidents to the injuries you sustained. They’re imperative in helping you put up a solid case against the insurer.
Highway Safety Expert Witness
This may be an engineer or an expert on highway matters who gives their opinion on the road and transportation conditions that could have led to the accident. They will determine whether the accident resulted from the driver’s recklessness or beyond the driver’s control. They’re vital to determining who was at fault in accidents involving more than one party.
Mental Health Expert Witness
A mental health expert explains how the accident may have impacted your emotional wellbeing and mental state. They’ll help you get a compensation amount that covers emotional pain because of the injury. They also check whether your quality of life deteriorated after the accident.
An economist can help determine the financial burden of the accident on your daily living. The economists can isolate any unique employment needs, lost wages, and medical costs after the accident.
5 Reasons You Might Need an Expert Witness After a Car Accident
Sometimes, car accident cases are very straightforward. The other driver admits fault, you negotiate compensation, and you settle the matter quickly. This is often rare, as there are often disagreements between the parties. Under certain circumstances, expert witness testimony will be necessary to get the compensation you deserve.
Your Physical Health is Questioned
One tactic your opponent might use in a personal injury case is questioning your injuries. This can be done in two ways. First, they can target the extent of your damages. This might mean they will claim your back pain is embellished and therefore deserves less compensation. Second, they might question the legitimacy of your injury by accusing you of lying. In both cases, you can confirm your damages by using a medical professional as an expert witness. What they will do is allow you to have a respected professional backing up your injuries.
Your Emotional Suffering is Questioned
In a car accident case, you are not forced to solely pursue compensation for your injuries. Compensation may also be pursued for emotional suffering. An extreme example of this would be a person who was severely injured in a collision and, as a result, is experiencing PTSD. Given that this is a serious mental condition, it may warrant compensation. If you try to obtain these benefits and your suffering is questioned, you may strengthen your case with expert testimony from a mental health professional.
The Conditions Surrounding Your Accident are Unclear
If you are in an accident where the primary cause was the other driver making an unsafe maneuver, you can argue that this is negligence and they should be at fault. One thing that they might do in this situation is claim that the maneuver they made was actually safe and not negligent. If a dispute arises in your case, your case may benefit from the opinion of a traffic safety expert.
Your Story Conflicts With the Other Driver’s
Sometimes, the at-fault driver will have a different perspective on the accident than you. Though this can be an honest disagreement, it can also be because they are lying. An example of this would be a driver running a red light and colliding with the side of your car. In this case, they could claim that you ran the red light, and they did not. To prove your side of the story, you can hire an accident reconstruction specialist to give their expert opinion.
Determining Lost Wages
A type of benefit frequently pursued in severe personal injury cases is lost wages. This refers to compensation you receive because of an inability to do your job effectively or at all. Depending on the nature of your injury and profession, this could be a significant sum. In some instances, you may decide to hire an accounting expert to give an accurate estimate of how much you deserve.
St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident, ensure your legal rights are protected by speaking with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm 24/7 for a free consultation.
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