Expert witnesses can be critical in obtaining a favorable verdict in personal injury cases — including those involving car accidents. These individuals have special qualifications, education, and experience that enable them to form credible opinions regarding the elements needed to establish negligence. They are typically used to help clarify complex technical issues that may be in dispute and to explain complicated matters regarding liability or damages to a jury. Although they are impartial and unbiased, the testimony of an expert witness can make all the difference to the outcome of a car crash lawsuit.
What Is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is an individual with extensive knowledge, experience, and qualifications in a particular field. Their background allows them to provide crucial consulting to an attorney in a personal injury case as well as expert testimony in the courtroom. They are not an advocate for either side, although they might be hired and paid by one.
To be qualified, an expert witness in a personal injury case must have obtained specialized knowledge through education and training. For instance, many have PhDs and an extensive list of publications to their name. Other expert witnesses may have practical experience, such as a law enforcement background. Typically, a judge has the discretion as to whether to allow an expert witness to testify.
Types of Expert Witnesses in Car Accident Cases
An expert witness is not to be confused with an eyewitness who observed the moment the accident occurred. Rather, an expert witness is brought into a case to explain highly technical matters in a way the fact finder and jury in the courtroom can understand. They often bring greater credibility to a claim by demonstrating their expertise in a specific area. While they may not be necessary in a case where liability is clear-cut, expert witnesses can be particularly beneficial in car accident cases that are more complex — or when liability is in dispute.
There are several different types of expert witnesses that are regularly used in car accident cases, including the following:
- Consulting experts — A consulting expert can assist a personal injury attorney during the preparation of the car accident case by helping to develop a trial strategy and provide information regarding medical or technical topics.
- Testifying experts — These types of experts are called as witnesses at trial to explain complex subjects to the jury.
- Accident reconstruction experts — An accident reconstruction expert analyzes the factors that caused the collision and may write a report or make a 3-D model showing how the accident occurred.
- Financial specialists — If a claim involves ongoing economic damages or substantial non-economic damages, certain types of expert witnesses can help to put a value on these losses.
- Vocational experts — These experts can testify regarding the job duties you are able to perform in the event your car accident-related injuries limit the type of work you can do. They can also provide testimony explaining why you can no longer engage in your employment at all if you are permanently disabled.
Both sides in a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident are permitted to use expert witnesses. Often, if the plaintiff uses an expert witness, the defense will bring in their own to rebut the testimony.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s essential to have a skilled personal injury attorney by your side to pursue the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at the Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are committed to advocating for the rights of car accident victims, and we fight to secure the maximum recovery available in each client’s unique case. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.