Expert Witnesses in Car Accident Cases
An expert witness is someone who has the background, education, and experience to be considered an expert in a specific field of work.
For instance, a lawyer may hire an accident reconstructionist on an intersection accident case where drivers disagree about who entered the intersection first or who ran the red light.
Another expert witness may be a physician who has reviewed all of the medical records and bills to decide if they were reasonable and necessary.
A physician may also explain the full extent of the victim’s injuries to the jury.
A skilled car accident lawyer should hire expert medical experts who are comfortable speaking to a jury and can explain what was going on in the hospital, doctor’s office, or physical therapy clinic.
Speak to a Skaug Law attorney to learn more about expert witnesses in your car accident case.
Requirements to Be An Expert Witness
To be an expert witness, one has to be qualified in a particular field with expertise an ordinary person does not have.
Expert witnesses in car accident cases include accident reconstructionists (usually a practicing or former law enforcement officer), an engineer, a physician, or from any special line of work related to the accident.
Before a person can give an opinion at trial, the court must agree they have sufficient expertise to testify.
There is not a hard, fast rule for minimum experience for an expert.
They must only satisfy the court they have the credibility to testify as an expert.
Sometimes a jury does not like an expert or does not believe him. At trial, there are usually competing experts arguing different opinions about the same event.
The jury must pick the one they believe is most persuasive.
Existing Relationship With The Plaintiff
An expert witness can have some limited relationship with the plaintiff.
Credibility may be an issue if they are close friends.
It is best to have experts with no pre-existing relationship with the client, so they are truly independent in their opinions.
Benefits and Reasons to Not Hire an Expert
A seasoned expert medical witness has experience in front of juries.
They can look at all of the evidence, all of the medical records and bills, and come up with an independent opinion.
A knowledgeable expert can clearly explain to the jury what the client has been through as a result of the accident.
Refusing an Expert Witness
Someone might not want an expert witness in their case because of the cost.
An expert witness has to be paid for their work, and it can be expensive.
An experienced injury lawyer will not hire an expert witness unless they believe it will secure a larger award for their client in a fair and just settlement.
How a Car Accident Attorney Could Help
Car accident attorneys often use accident reconstruction experts, medical physician experts, and vocational experts to testify at trial.
Expert witnesses in a car accident case are there to help the jury understand what has happened and what is true.
An expert is there to build the client’s case for a good settlement.
In a car accident trial, expert witness testimony is given whatever weight the jury decides.
They decide the credibility of the expert witness.
An experienced injury attorney knows the experts from the community who will be best at trial.
Call Skaug Law today to learn more about the benefits of expert witnesses in your car accident case.