When you are seriously injured in a collision with another car or with a semi-truck, making a case to win the compensation you need to fully recover can be a challenge. If more than two vehicles were involved, if there were no reliable eyewitnesses to the crash, if you are suffering from catastrophic injuries, or if you are being wrongly accused of contributing to the crash, your attorney may call in experts in investigate the crash, evaluate your condition, and testify on your behalf. These medical, engineering, and economic experts provide the proof you need to win your case.
The Role an Expert May Play in Your Case
Many people think of expert witnesses as those who testify in court as to what their expertise tells them likely happened in the accident or what your chances are for a full physical recovery. While expert witnesses are often asked to testify, they can also play an important role in determining exactly what happened in order to build your case. Some of the roles accident experts play in legal claims include:
Education. While experienced personal injury attorneys know a great deal about the way crashes occur and what the likely prognosis is for a particular injury, their expertise is in issues of law, not crash dynamics or medical treatment. Often, a particular expert is called in to simply explain circumstances or review medical records for the attorney so that he or she can decide how to proceed. The information provided by the expert may be used by the attorney to reach a settlement or the expert may be called later to testify if the claim goes to trial.
Evaluation. When it is unclear exactly what happened in a crash or there are conflicting opinions as to the extent of injuries suffered by the client, experts may be called in to evaluate the evidence and make a determination as to whether the case has merit. A third-party expert will be able to evaluate the extent of damages and help the attorney reach a dollar figure to take to the insurance company.
Testing. Potential items of evidence may be sent to experts to be tested. In a case where a faulty vehicle part or malfunctioning street light is suspected to have contributed to a crash, the attorney may have an outside expert test the equipment to determine where the malfunction occurred.
Consultation. Attorneys may have working relationships with particular experts who work with the attorney throughout a case as a consultant. The expert may help to prepare evidence, gather input from other experts, or prepare written statements that can be presented in court or to an insurance adjuster in settlement negotiations.
Testifying. Finally, experts can be called to testify in court or to give a deposition in a settlement hearing. While expert witnesses are never paid for their testimony, they are paid for the time they put into evaluating your case.
The Other Side Will Have Experts, Too
If an expert testifies for you in court, he will be questioned by the defendant’s attorney as to his qualifications related to your specific case. The other side will likely also produce experts who have come to a different conclusion than your experts. This is all part of the court process, but it is important that you have an attorney who uses only reputable and reliable expert witnesses.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.