Accident victims who suffer serious injuries may be surprised to discover that they will be required to go to great lengths to substantiate the extent of their injuries and to prove that they were not to blame for the crash. It may feel like adding insult to injury, but it is often, unfortunately, a necessary part of the crash settlement process. While your attorney will gather all the evidence he can—including police reports, emergency room documents, and eyewitness statements—sometimes it is necessary to call in various experts to strengthen the claims you are making about the accident. These expert witnesses can play a vital role in ensuring that you get the maximum possible settlement. Here, we introduce the various types of experts who may be needed to help you win your case.
6 Experts Who Could Help Your Case
When we think of witnesses, we often think of people who saw something happen and are able to describe to others what they saw. Eyewitnesses such as these could be helpful to your car accident claim if they back up what you claim happened in the crash. Expert witnesses, on the other hand, did not actually see the accident. Instead, they are experts in various fields who can verify facts, recreate circumstances, or explain why something happened the way it did. Experts who may be called to assist in your case include:
Medical expert. This may be your own doctor testifying as to your medical condition and chances for a full recovery, or it may be another medical expert who can give information about the treatments, assistive devices, and rehabilitative therapies you may be facing in the future. He or she will be able to give an idea of what your full recovery, if a full recovery is possible, will cost. If you will be unable to return to work or will need long-term care because of your injuries, this expert will verify that.
Accident reconstructionist. If the circumstances leading to the accident are called into question and fault for the crash is difficult to determine, an accident reconstructionist may be used to recreate the accident and show what likely happened. These experts can create video presentations that show what each driver was doing just before the crash occurred and how the vehicles involved responded to the collision. This can be powerful testimony if it clearly shows that fault lies completely with the other driver.
Mental health expert. Damages for pain and suffering can be difficult to quantify. A therapist or psychologist who has met with the victim can explain the traumatic effects of the accident on the victim and how it will continue to affect his quality of life. The expert may also talk to family members and testify as to how the injury of their loved one has affected them.
Economist. Determining full loss of income and future earnings due to an accident is a complicated process. An economic expert will consider a person’s age, life expectancy, the length of time off work, and more complicated factors like the value of money, inflation, and a projection of future interest rates in determining total financial losses.
Highway safety expert. A highway safety expert may be able to determine if highway design or conditions at the time of the crash contributed in any way to the accident. Other types of engineers may also be called to examine contributing factors.
Biomedical engineers. A biomedical engineer has a knowledge of both the human body and the mechanics of outside forces and may be able to link events of the crash to the specific injuries sustained by the victim. This witness could be especially important if the insurance company is claiming your injuries were not caused by the accident.
It is important to remember that, just as your attorney can consult these experts to support your claim, the insurance company or lawyers for the at-fault driver may also bring in similar experts to refute your claims.
Trust Your Attorney When it Comes to Expert Witnesses
Not every car crash case requires the use of expert witnesses. While these professionals are not paid for their testimony, they are compensated for their time and they can be expensive to use. Your attorneys will know when it is necessary to call on an expert and will not hesitate to call one in when it is needed. If you have questions about a recent car crash, call our office today. We would be happy to review your case.