the role of an expert witness in a personal injury case

The Role of an Expert Witness in an Injury Case

If you are pursuing a personal injury case to hold someone else accountable for their negligence, you may be wondering how much evidence you need to prove your case. It’s not just the quantity of evidence you possess, but also the quality of your evidence. That is why expert witnesses are so important. Their expertise, education, and experience make them extremely valuable voices to have in the courtroom. Find out more about how expert witnesses help your case and the types of witnesses your lawyer may hire.

Types of Expert Witnesses

The term “expert witness” is a general one that refers to anyone with enough professional expertise to comment on the facts and circumstances of your case. They are not someone who has direct experience with your accident or with you. They come in as a completely neutral third party to provide their insight.

Depending on the type of injuries you have sustained and the type of accident that caused them, your attorney may recommend several different types of witnesses:

  • Medical professionals. A medical professional with extensive experience in the type of injuries you have sustained is obviously an excellent choice for an injury trial. They can comment on your prognosis and recovery needs and paint a picture of what your life will look like as you heal from your injuries.
  • Life care planners. Professionals in this field focus exclusively on the impact an injury or accident will have on a victim. They assess the losses that an individual will suffer as the result of an accident and figure out how those losses will impact their earning ability, life expectancy, mental health expenses, disability, and need for physical or occupational therapy.
  • Mental health professionals. Accidents often leave victims with a significant amount of trauma that they have to spend years or decades working through. A mental health professional is helpful in detailing how an accident could impact a victim’s ability to live independently, work full-time, care for their family, and engage in other tasks. They may also explain a victim’s need for counseling or other treatment options.
  • Accident reconstruction experts. In car accident cases, awards often come down to the facts of an accident. Those facts are almost impossible to prove without full dashcam coverage. An accident reconstructionist can fill in those gaps and figure out exactly what happened to make a crash occur in a specific way. Their knowledge of physics and engineering allows them to analyze evidence and devise drawings, models, and replicas that show how an accident occurred.
  • Economists. If an injury impacts someone’s ability to work or limits their growth opportunities, an economist can be a helpful expert witness. They can attest to how an injury may impact an individual’s earning ability and determine how much income they’re likely to lose over the course of their career.
  • Manufacturing and engineering experts. In personal injury cases involving faulty products, manufacturing and engineering experts are an excellent resource. They may highlight flaws in a product’s design or creation and explain how those flaws may lead to injury.

Why Expert Witnesses Are So Important

Expert witnesses play an important part in the construction of your case. They are not invested in the outcome of a case, so they are unlikely to say something just to help you and risk their livelihood and reputation. This holds up their credibility in the eyes of the court. Their objective viewpoint and extensive knowledge make them a great resource for injury victims.

Your attorney may or may not recommend the use of an expert witness in your case. If your case is fairly straightforward, an expert witness may be unnecessary. In more complex cases or cases where a substantial amount of money is at stake, your attorney may highly recommend an expert witness.

Let Us Help You with Your Personal Injury Case

When you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s actions, you deserve compensation. We are here to help. At Mann & Potter, PC, our focus on personal injury cases makes us a fierce advocate at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. We fight aggressively for each and every one of our clients. To discuss your case in greater detail, message us online or call us at 205-627-3186.

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