While more witnesses may only provide facts of the case during trial, expert witnesses are permitted to give opinions. For instance, medical doctors may give testimony about the cause and nature of a plaintiff’s injury to help determine how much compensation he or she may need. As such, these statements could strengthen an injured party’s case.
If you suffered injuries in an accident, a skilled attorney could find an expert to testify at your car wreck trial. Call The Warren Firm today to speak with an attorney about the importance of expert witnesses in Charlottesville car accident cases.
State law permits anyone who has specialized knowledge of the issues involved in a case to give a testimony at trial. A local attorney could identify the type of expert witness who would be most useful in your specific car accident case.
The most import issue for a doctor to testify about is the cause of the injury. If a doctor is licensed in the state, he or she is the only expert that can testify about whether the accident caused each injury. Of course, a doctor or medical professional can testify about the medical treatment rendered and how the patient presented at each visit. Only a medical doctorcan testify about any future treatment the injured party may need.
Life care planners could testify about the services or devices the plaintiff may need beyond initial medical treatment. For example, an injured party may need to install a wheelchair ramp in his or her home or hire a full-time caretaker or the injured party may need physical therapy in the future. The care planner could testify not about the need for the therapy but for the cost of the therapy
Accident reconstruction experts analyze vehicle damage, roads conditions, and other evidence to determine the cause of the car crash. These testimonies are generally not allowed in court but can be helpful in some cases.
The standard pretrial order states plaintiffs must disclose any experts and their opinions within 90 days of the trial. In turn, the defense must disclose any experts they wish to have testify 60 days before the trial.
If needed, the injured party may file a rebuttal expert 45 days from trial. Any expert who is not disclosed before these deadlines may not be allowed to testify. A diligent lawyer could meet these deadlines to ensure your expert witness testimony is admitted.
Once an expert witness is admitted, the jury decides how much weight to give his or her testimony. This may depend on various factors, but the jury often takes into account how well the expert knows the injured party. Expert witnesses are allowed to have an existing relationship with the plaintiff. The doctor who is treating the injured party frequently gives a testimony in car accident cases. However, the defendant may use this information to convince the jury that the doctor’s testimony is not credible.
The defense counsel may also ask an expert to testify. Insurance companies often have longstanding relationships with the doctors who testify for them. An experienced attorney in the area could cross-examine an expert to uncover any bias.
Because most jurors do not have medical expertise, it can be difficult for them to determine the direct cause of a plaintiff’s injuries. Therefore, these professionals can be useful in situations where the cause of an injury is unclear.
For example, if a plaintiff does not start experiencing back pain until a few days after a car crash, the defense counsel may argue that something other than the accident caused that injury. A doctor could inform the jury that it is possible to have delayed symptoms after an accident. Our team could provide you with more information on the advantages of using expert witness testimony.
It can be difficult to succeed in a car accident case without an expert witness testimony. Our team at The Warren Firm has the resources to find a medical professional or another expert who could strengthen your case. Call the office to learn more about expert witnesses in Charlottesville car accident cases.