Expert witnesses aren’t a necessity in every personal injury case — but they’re invaluable when a critical issue is in dispute. A good expert witness can help clarify an issue and provide understandable evidence that will either sway a jury your way — or even allow the case to settle out of court.
These are some of the most common expert witnesses you may find involved in your case:
A medical expert
A medical expert is generally called when the case is hung up on whether or not you were really as injured as you claim you were. The expert in your case could be anyone from your treating physician to an independently retained specialist. He or she will likely be asked to testify about the likelihood that your injuries and pain relate, whether or not an old injury could be causing your symptoms and what sort of future problems you may encounter.
A mental health specialist
Did your injury also affect your mental health? It isn’t uncommon for someone with serious physical injuries to develop depression or anxiety over his or her situation. Other people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that can make it difficult for them to function normally. It may take a mental health expert to help the court understand exactly how this kind of overwhelming anxiety can be crippling and why you can’t just “get over it” like some other people do.
An accident reconstructionist
Sometimes the big sticking point in a personal injury claim is who is really responsible for the accident. Accident reconstructionists use physics and engineering principles to recreate the sequence of events in an accident. You may need this type of expert particularly if you were involved in an accident involving multiple vehicles or a chain reaction.
An economic loss specialist
Sometimes it’s easy to establish your economic losses. You can show how much work you missed and what loss of income you suffered. Other times, the losses are harder to determine — especially if you have an ongoing disability that will limit you for the rest of your life. An economic loss specialist can give the court some understanding of what your earnings potential would have been prior to the accident compared to now.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney — you need to protect your rights for the future.