Expert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful, and often crucial, in a personal injury lawsuit.
Ways expert witnesses can help your case
There are a couple of ways that expert witnesses can help a personal injury victim prove a case. The testimony of some experts is used to help jurors understand complex concepts. Other experts are offered because they are necessary to establish some standard of care (that is, what actions a reasonably skilled and competent professional in a given industry would take under the circumstances in question).
In practice, here is what this can look like.
- A woman brings a claim against a nursing home for bed sores and other injuries that her mother has suffered in its care. She must work with an expert witness who can testify what actions a reasonable and competent nursing home would have taken to avoid those injuries.
- A man injured in a traffic accident files a lawsuit against the driver of a truck who struck his car. The man will have a stronger case if he hires an expert in biomechanics to explain to the jury how the impact of the vehicles transferred energy to his body inside the vehicle to cause the precise injuries alleged.
Types of expert witnesses
Experts can come from all sorts of backgrounds. A trained legal eye can evaluate a case and determine what topics would be especially helpful if supported by the testimony of an expert witness. Some types of experts and the topics of potential testimony include:
- Accident reconstructionist to explain how the accident happened
- Biomechanic to explain how the injuries occurred
- Traffic pattern expert to determine factors affecting the flow of traffic
- Expert in human factors to explain how people perceive and interact with items and environments
- Technical experts like mechanics and engineers to determine whether factors like improper equipment maintenance is at fault
- Doctors to discuss the extent of injuries
- Economists to establish the long-term financial impact of the accident
- Vocational rehabilitators to help jury understand the plaintiff’s loss in earning capacity
Putting together your winning California legal team
Maximizing a personal injury claim requires skill, experience, and collaboration. Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati has litigated personal injury claims in state and federal courts throughout California and knows how to present a solid case.
Our team prides itself on our firm commitment to meeting clients’ needs. We communicate early and often so our clients always know what is going on in their case. We also work with a skilled team of experts carefully chosen to effectively convey complex issues to judges and juries.
Call 1-888-259-4060 today to schedule a consultation. Remember, we never collect a fee unless we win money on your behalf.
Additional Expert Witness Resources:
- Justia, 2009 California Evidence Code Section 720-723: Article 1. Expert Witnesses Generally, https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2009/evid/720-723.html
- American Bar Association Journal, Choosing Expert Witnesses, http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/choosing_expert_witness
- American Bar Association, A Pragmatic Approach to Retaining and Presenting Expert Witnesses: Picking All-Stars and Avoiding Busts, https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/litigation/materials/sac_2012/45-1_a_pragmatic_approach_to_presenting_expert_witnesses.authcheckdam.pdf