How Important Is An Expert Witness And How Are They Selected?
You recently sustained injuries in a car accident. You know it wasn’t your fault, but how do you prove it? Sure, you have medical bills which state the nature of your injury and a police report showing you weren’t at fault unfortunately the insurance company is stating both those documents as insufficient. The insurance deems them lacking of evidence. Now what do you do?
In this case and in many others we represent for our clients, we bring in expert witnesses. You might be thinking how is an expert witness going to help, when they were never present nor saw first-hand what transpired during your accident. And that would be true. Yet, an expert witness is not called upon because they saw the accident but for the knowledge they possess and the experiences they can offer.
So what is an expert witness?
An expert witness is someone who is a certified professional qualified to provide testimony in personal injury cases. Every situation is a bit different and each expert witness is chosen based on what they know and how they can help the case. The more relevant is the expert witness is to your claim the better. Picking an expert witness who doesn’t know anything about your injuries or accident won’t help with credibility in proving your side of the story. So it’s imperative to choose the right expert witness that understands how your injuries were caused and why.
Selecting the right expert witness can make or break a case. Remember it’s their testimony that may convince a judge or jury why the insurance company is wrong in denying your claim and why the accident was not your fault.
In an Indiana auto accident case we may select one or more of these expert witnesses for their testimony, they include…
- primary care physicians, surgeons, physical therapists and other medical specialists
- accident reconstructionists
- collision analysts
- auto mechanics or engineers
- counselors, psychiatrists, or other mental health experts
- roadway safety consultants and forensics experts.
Before we select an expert witness we take into consideration three main factors; usefulness, training and court experience. Usefulness is how beneficial the expert witness is to the case. Training means how much schooling the witness has and how many years have they been practicing such skills. And court experience means how many cases have they been asked to provide testimony to in the past. Although court experience is not a requirement an expert witness should be able to conduct themselves professionally in a court setting.
During an auto accident case an expert witness such as a neurosurgeon may be used to provide a detailed treatment to account for current and future damages, whereas an economist might be used to show the financial impact the accident has had on the victim and what a fair settlement could look like. We might also use an accident reconstructionist who use various models and computer programs to demonstrate who was at fault.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident and it happened in Indiana, I invite you to call my office at (219)736-9700 and speak to any of our legal professionals here at The Law Offices of David W. Holub. To learn more about us I invite you to follow us on our Facebook page and YouTube channel and click the button below to subscribe to our newsletter.