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Aug 11, 2020

When filing a personal injury lawsuit, if you are the victim, you must prove that the other party is responsible. This must be proven with a "reasonable degree of certainty" and proven in court. This means you will need to compile a case.

As you begin to file your personal injury claim typically you will jump through many hoops and speak to many different people in the process. You may speak to someone who worked on your car for physical damage, or the doctor who looked after your injuries. You also may speak to an attorney to understand how to approach the situation.

Speaking to educated persons regarding your personal injury case is an incredible idea. It allows you to obtain different perspectives and understand what your best course of action is while building your case.

Sometimes speaking to an educated person involves using an expert witness. This allows you to have someone to explain the situation on your behalf and can help you win your case.

What is an Expert Witness?

Expert witnesses are people who have a specific background in either medicine, science, technology, or another field. These professionals are fully qualified and able to explain their opinion on evidence that can be used as testimony.

By having an expert witness offer testimony, the situation can be properly explained to the jury. The facts provided by the expert witness should be the result analysis on the data of the case. Essentially, an expert witness is an educated person who gives legitimacy to a claim based on their education and experience in the field.

Who Qualifies as an Expert Witness?

Those who are physicians, medical professionals, or someone educated in a technical field will qualify as an expert witness. The expert witness must have knowledge that is beyond that of an “average” person. This person should be looked upon to offer guidance and information to be considered an “expert”.

When is an Expert Witness Involved in a Personal Injury Case?

When a serious personal injury occurs, there is often a case that follows. Many personal injury cases occur in relation to vehicles such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, or pedestrian accidents. In these cases, an accident reconstruction expert or human factor expert would be consulted.

This is because they can use their extensive knowledge to help the jury to visualize the accident. This will include using evidence such as the weight of the vehicles, the type of tires, the road conditions, or the time of day. This person's role is to take all of the evidence and use their knowledge to offer an explanation for who is at fault for the accident.

Expert witnesses may also be called in cases where one of the parties involved do not recall the accident due to injury. This gives both parties a fair chance to find out the truth by way of an expert.

Having different types of expert witnesses can help the jury truly understand who was at fault in the case, and to properly serve justice.

When is it Valuable to Bring in an Expert Witness?

It is never required to use an expert witness, but if you know you were not at fault for an accident then it can definitely help. This is true whether you are the defendant or victim.

If You Are the Defendant

When you are being accused of causing harm to someone else it is always a bad situation. The only way it can get worse is if you do not believe that you are at fault. Whether you sustained injuries as well, or you know that the plaintiff (victim) is lying, an expert witness can clear things up.

Rather than take the blame for something you did not do; an expert witness will clarify the facts. This can be the difference between winning and losing a case. It will also most likely save you a lot of money in fees and insurance costs.

If You Are the Victim

Also known as the plaintiff, if you are the victim in a personal injury case, then you will want to collect damages. 

  • If your injuries are extensive, using an expert witness will allow you to have someone to back up your claims.

  • For injuries that cause a blackout, or loss of memory, an expert witness will help you to piece together the accident. This might help you with closure.

  • You might also want to bring in an expert witness if the incident is complex or out of the ordinary. Since this is not something that is seen every day, the jury may get a better picture if an educated person speaks on it.

  • Especially if the person you are accusing has denied fault, an expert witness can push the truth to justice and help you win your claim.

Types of Expert Witnesses

There are many different types of experts you can use when fighting a personal injury case in Colorado. These experts come from different backgrounds and will clarify all issues of the case to help the jury and attorneys understand them more easily. Even though personal injury attorneys are typically very experienced in these cases, they are not experts in every field.

Medical Experts

Some of the most useful experts to bring into a court situation. Medical experts should specifically not be the person who treated the injured persons injuries. They should be impartial and conduct their examinations from all the notes that have been written on the case.

Medical experts will also give their opinion on whether or not future treatment will be necessary, and how much this might cost. Doctors and surgeons can also testify regarding how bad the injuries are, and if they might result in disability.

Mental Health Experts

These experts are qualified to testify about how the accident has impacted the mental health, and even the emotional health, of the person who is injured.

This testimony is often used to support claims of PTSD, pain and suffering, emotional trauma of living, and other disabilities.

Economic Experts

Helping to testify regarding how the injury has affected the injured person’s expenses is the job of economic experts. Whether this is the ability to earn a living, pay their expenses, and even live a functional life. Economic experts will be able to estimate the value of the future wages the injured party will lose due to an accident. They can also help to support a claim for lost wages.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

Helping law enforcement and lawyers understand how an accident occurred is very necessary. These experts reconstruct collisions by using drawings, models, and computer software. They can also help to determine the specs of the accident including how fast the vehicles were moving and the direction of the impact.

Do You Need an Expert Witness?

Although expert witnesses are not necessary for every personal injury case, they can help bring up evidence to push the case in your direction. If you are in a complex dispute, someone has suffered severe injuries or large amounts of monetary damages, then you can never be too careful. The proof an expert witness can help obtain might be the difference between no compensation, and maximum compensation.

As the case gets more complicated, an expert's testimony will be even more important. Especially in cases where jail time is an option, an expert witness can bring out the truth. No matter what type of personal injury case you are involved in, an expert's testimony is always helpful.

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