Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Nov 07, 2019 in Auto Accidents
Sometimes attorneys will bring in expert witnesses to help prove different aspects of a car accident case, such as fault, the value of damages, or the severity of injuries.
Below, learn more about the reasons why attorneys may use expert witnesses in insurance claims or lawsuits. The Fort Worth car accident attorneys at Stephens, Anderson and Cummings are available for a free consultation to discuss your claim and whether expert witnesses may be needed.
Common Types of Expert Witnesses
There are a variety of expert witnesses who may be used in a car accident case:
- Accident reconstructionist – This person can review the evidence at the scene of the accident including pictures, damage to the vehicles, police reports, eyewitness testimony and electronic data to determine how the accident occurred. He or she may also create a video or other visual representation that recreates the accident for a jury or insurance adjuster to see. A reconstructionist can determine factors that may have played a role in the accident, such as vehicle speeds, the direction each vehicle was traveling, stopping distances and points of impact.
- Medical expert – This person can discuss the types of injuries you sustained, including their severity and how they arose. He or she can review your medical records to prepare a summary or report regarding your injuries and prognosis. He or she can also help describe the types of medical treatments you will likely need in the future and how your injuries may affect your ability to work and complete routine tasks. A medical expert may also be brought in if there was a pre-existing injury so that he or she can explain how the injury was aggravated by the accident.
- Economist – This person is often necessary if the accident has caused the victim to become permanently disabled or prevented him or her from returning to the same type of work. An economist can help determine the value of your lost earning capacity by considering factors such as your work history, profession, age, education level and history of promotions. If the victim can return to work, an economic expert may be useful in calculating lost wages, especially if you have an irregular work cycle or are self-employed.
- Engineer – These experts may discuss defective road conditions or signs when these issues are in dispute. This type of expert can also discuss the more technical aspects involved in the collision, such as the design of the roadway, the construction of buildings or property involved in the accident, and vehicle design.
- Phone records specialist – If your accident involved distracted driving, a phone records specialist may be brought in to describe any cell phone activity that occurred around the time of the accident.
- Mental health expert – Car accidents often lead to serious emotional reactions, including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. A mental health expert can discuss the emotional damages that a victim suffered, as well as the cost for ongoing mental health treatment.
Are Expert Witnesses Only Used in Court?
While expert witnesses may help provide important testimony in court regarding fault or damages, some expert witnesses are used in insurance claims to try to maximize the amount of compensation offered by the insurance company. Experts may provide opinions, reports or other types of evidence that may help give your lawyer more leverage in settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
The insurance company may have its own expert witnesses, so having an expert witness on your side can help you level the playing field.
Set Up a Free Consultation for Help with Your Claim
Having an expert witness on your side could help you maximize your recovery.
The experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney at Stephens, Anderson and Cummings understand when it may be necessary to bring in expert witnesses.