Your medical records and some other basic evidence can sometimes be enough to successfully recover compensation.
However, there are some claims that are more difficult to prove. For example, claims involving permanent injuries and a significant amount of non-economic damages. Your attorney may need to bring in expert witnesses to help build a strong case.
Below, Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced attorneys discuss the role of expert witnesses in an injury claim, including the types of expert witnesses that are often used.
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another’s negligence, you might need an expert witness. Galloway Jefcoat is prepared to bring in expert witnesses when necessary and take other steps to build a strong case. Our Lafayette-based personal injury lawyers have been fighting for the injured in Louisiana for decades and have obtained hundreds of millions in compensation.
Contact us today to discuss your injuries. Call (337) 984-8020.
What is an Expert Witness?
Expert witnesses are not the same as eyewitnesses. An expert witness is someone who did not see the accident. He or she has no connection to the victim beyond their involvement in the claim for compensation.
Expert witnesses have specific experience, education or training that qualifies them to provide testimony about different aspects of a case. For example, a medical doctor may be able to provide testimony about the victim’s injuries and how they occurred. Expert witnesses are often brought in to explain complex topics that a jury might struggle to understand.
Some expert witnesses still work in their dedicated field. There are others who have retired but may do consulting or are frequently asked to act as an expert witness. Some expert witnesses continue to write about the subjects they are experts in, such as in peer-reviewed journals.
Types of Expert Witnesses Used in Injury Claims
Expert witnesses are brought in to investigate and explain various aspects of a case. This includes the injuries a victim suffered, the cause of the crash and the economic impact of the accident.
Claims that involve ongoing damages and significant non-economic damages may need expert witnesses. This is because it can be a challenge to establish the value of these damages, especially non-economic damages. For example, the value of ongoing medical damages is a projection. The value of non-economic damages is subjective.
These experts may be brought in to speak to the severity of the victim’s injuries. For example, if a victim has an injury to a joint, the victim’s lawyer may bring on an orthopedist. If the victim has a spinal cord injury, a spinal cord surgeon or neurologist may be brought in. Neurologists could also speak to the long-term effects of a brain injury.
These experts may also speak to the cause of the victim’s injury. They can explain in detail how the injury occurred and how the accident caused it. They can discuss how body parts were damaged and the treatments being used to try to repair the damage.
A medical expert, such as a life care planner, may be brought in to explain in detail how ongoing treatment may benefit the victim and improve his or her quality of life. For example, ongoing treatment may help to lessen everyday pain and allow the victim to engage in more physical activity. Victims may have a need for durable medical equipment, in-home caregiving, and modifications to their home.
There are also experts in pain management. They can explain how the victim’s pain impacts his or her daily life. They may also be able to speak to the long-term financial impact of pain on the victim.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
These experts are often brought in to help with auto accident claims. They have training in various disciplines that can help them determine how and why a crash occurred. They can evaluate the damaged vehicles to reach conclusions about the accident.
Many accident reconstruction experts are former police officers, or they have training in engineering and other disciplines that would help them to evaluate the crash.
Accident reconstruction experts often use computer technology to create a model of the crash that can be used in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
When an injury keeps a person out of work for a long time, or permanently alters the victim’s ability to work like he or she did before the accident, it may be necessary to bring in an economic expert. These experts can evaluate the economic impact of an injury, including the value of damages the victim may suffer in the future.
Economic experts may testify about how the victim’s long-term earning capacity has been diminished by the injury. They can factor in the victim’s age, education, skills and employment history.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Expert Witness?
This is not something you need to be concerned about if you choose to work with us. At Galloway Jefcoat, we take on the costs of investigating your accident and building a strong case. This includes the cost of hiring an expert witness. At our firm, there are no upfront fees for our services.
Call to Discuss the Next Step With Your Claim
Galloway Jefcoat has taken on a variety of personal injury claims and secured the compensation that helped victims move forward. Our services come with no upfront costs or fees. The initial meeting with a lawyer is also free of charge.
Have questions about your claim? Call us today: (337) 984-8020.