Imagine a driver loses control on I-83 and hits your vehicle. You slam into a concrete barrier, breaking your arm and hip. Your injuries are painful, cost tens of thousands of dollars to treat, and you miss months of work. You file a personal injury claim against the other driver, but their insurance company questions their client’s liability.
Even when liability seems straightforward in car accidents, the other party may try to place the blame on you. This is when your personal injury attorney may hire an expert witness to build your case like an accident reconstruction expert to show how the accident unfolded.
But who are these expert witnesses, and how would using one in your case help?
What Is a Personal Injury Expert Witness?
A personal injury expert witness is a professional who provides testimony to help others to understand a complex situation or concept. The expert witness is not usually a direct witness of what happened. Instead, the expert witness utilizes their expert knowledge in their field to explain complicated concepts. The witness is qualified in their expertise and may offer their opinions in personal injury trials.
What Kinds of Expert Witnesses Are There?
Many kinds of expert witnesses can be helpful in personal injury cases. Some of the most common ones are accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and economic experts. They provide a personal injury expert witness statement to help your attorney build a strong case.
Physicians usually provide expert medical testimony. They also will detail what the patient’s prognosis is. Additionally, the medical expert testifies if the medical bills were reasonable given the type and degree of injury.
In most personal injury lawsuits, when the case goes to trial, the plaintiff’s attorney will present expert testimony from a medical expert. The doctor will offer their opinion about the nature and extent of the injuries.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
An accident reconstruction expert offers their opinion about what caused an accident and the factors that contributed to the crash. The accident reconstruction expert’s opinion is critical in a car accident because Maryland has a contributory negligence standard. This means if a party is even 1% responsible for an accident, they cannot claim damages in a claim or lawsuit.
So, in the accident mentioned above, if you were 1% responsible for the crash on I-83, you cannot collect compensation for your injuries, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. That is why having an experienced Pinder Plotkin personal injury attorney help with your case is so important.
An economic expert testifies about the nature and extent of the financial impact on you after an accident. For instance, if you broke your arm and hip in a car accident, the economic expert might explain how your injuries prevent you from working for several months. This testimony could be crucial to establishing the compensation you deserve for lost past and future earnings.
Economic damages in a personal injury case usually involve the cost of your medical care, treatment, and loss of income. In addition, this expert will offer their opinion on how much repairing or replacing damaged property will cost.
How Expert Testimony Is Introduced
Maryland Rule 5-702 allows expert witness testimony to be entered into court. The court must determine whether the testimony will help the jury or others understand the evidence or determine a fact. If the expert is allowed to testify, the expert can offer their opinion on issues in their area of expertise to assist the jury in understanding issues that could confuse them.
Before the Maryland court allows your attorney to call an expert witness, the judge will consider the following factor:
- Whether the expert witness is qualified because of their skill, knowledge, training, experience, or education
- Whether the testimony would be appropriate considering the facts of the case
- Whether there is a sufficient factual basis to support the testimony of the expert
Do You Need an Expert for Your Personal Injury Case?
If you hire a personal injury attorney, they are in charge of retaining experts when needed. For instance, if you were in a serious Baltimore car accident, you would need a medical expert to discuss the severity of your injuries and whether your treatments were appropriate.
Attorneys who often represent personal injury clients usually have a list of experts they use in their cases. For example, if you broke your arm and hip, your attorney may call an expert witness specializing in your injuries.
Contact a Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were injured because of the negligence of another party, the last thing you need to deal with is handling the insurance company on your own. A personal injury attorney can represent you before the insurance company and obtain the best compensation for your injuries. Then, if needed, your attorney will represent you in court and retain expert witnesses to build the best case. Call Pinder Plotkin today for assistance with your personal injury case.