How Expert Witness Testimony May Help Your Injury Case
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jan 20, 2022 in Car Accidents
If you are preparing to take legal action against a driver who caused an accident that resulted in injuries to you or a loved one, you may not know how important expert witness testimony may be to your case.
Our South Bend car crash lawyers are prepared to help you through the complex legal process of filing a claim and taking it to court if necessary. Our attorneys have experience working with expert witnesses and can help determine whether your case would benefit from one.
Expert witnesses are people who have extensive knowledge in a field or subject. They may use that knowledge to provide an expert opinion during a deposition or at trial to help strengthen a case. Below, we discuss how expert testimony may be helpful.
Who Can Be an Expert Witness During an Injury Case?
An expert witness can be a person who would be able to provide testimony about certain parts of a case. This can include proof of your injuries, who may be responsible for the crash or how much your future economic damages may be worth.
One of the most common types of expert witnesses used for injury cases are doctors. In fact, your treating doctor is most likely going to be called on as an expert witness to testify on your behalf. He or she may be able to testify on the extent of your injuries and the treatment you needed to recover or stabilize your injuries.
When there is a dispute over fault for an accident, an accident reconstruction expert may be used to help determine who caused the crash and then offer his or her expert opinion for the record.
Essentially, anyone who has extensive knowledge in a subject may be used during an injury case if his or her expert opinion can help strengthen your argument for compensation.
What Credentials Must an Expert Witness Have?
Indiana requires expert testimony be based on scientific, technical or specialized knowledge. Therefore, the person providing their services as an expert witness must be a licensed professional with the credentials of his or her profession.
For example, a doctor must provide proof of his or her medical license and disclose his or her years of experience. If the doctor specializes in an area of medicine, such as orthopedics, he or she must also provide proof of expertise in the field.
What is the Role of an Expert Witness?
An expert witness generally has three different roles in a case.
Serve as an Objective Party
Expert witnesses can serve as an objective third party to a case by providing background information, explaining scientific principles or building a contextual understanding of a situation for the jury during a trial.
Evaluate the Facts
As an objective third party, expert witnesses also evaluate the facts of a case and develop an expert opinion about the case.
Help Explain Complex Issues
Lastly, an expert witness may be able to explain a situation best left to an expert, such as the connection between an emotional response to a traumatic incident.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using an Expert Witness?
There may be some drawbacks to working with an expert witness in some accident cases.
The first, and perhaps most common, drawback is that the insurance company is going to try and discredit your expert. In fact, the insurance company is always going to try and discredit any witness you use for your case. Insurers will try and discredit your expert witness by claiming that your expert has a financial interest in the outcome of a case since he or she may be paid from any compensation you recover.
However, the counterargument to this is that most attorneys pay an expert witness up front before any compensation from a claim is recovered. This may help put your case in a better light if the insurance company tries to discredit your expert witness this way.
The other drawback about using an expert witness may be that you do have to pay the person, which may be costly depending on how long you need him or her to testify. Fortunately, not every case calls for several expert witnesses. Most cases may only require testimony from the victim’s treating doctor.
Need Help Filing a Claim? Call Us Today
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Our attorneys are ready to review your claim during a free consultation and see whether we can help you through the legal process.
Call (844) 678-1800 to get started.