What Does an Expert Witness Do in a Car Accident Lawsuit in Boston?
Expert witnesses are commonly defined as individuals who are able to bring forth a valuable and educated opinion based on their experience in a particular field. For example, a medical expert could provide testimony regarding how the speed, point of contact, and the damage done to the vehicle may have caused your injuries.
If you were involved in a crash which caused you significant pain and suffering, you deserve to be compensated. However, doing so may require you to hire expert witnesses in Boston car accident cases. To learn more, or for questions about a specific case, contact a knowledgeable attorney today.
What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is a witness who has some specialized knowledge beyond the knowledge of ordinary people concerning some evidentiary element that is presented in a jury trial. The purpose of hiring an expert witness is to help the jury understand the evidence and reach a conclusion based on the expert’s specialized knowledge in a field that is outside the knowledge of ordinary laypeople.
Common Examples of Auto Wreck Expert Witnesses
Depending on the type of injury case, a plaintiff has many options to choose from when hiring an expert witness. In regards to an auto injury case, the more commonly used witnesses include:
- Medical expert witnesses
- Accident reconstruction witnesses
- Vocational expert witnesses
Medical experts could include orthopedic surgeons specializing in spinal injuries or specializing in shoulder and upper extremity injuries, or knee and lower extremity injuries, such as foot and ankle. In addition, an attorney may use neurologists and neurosurgeons when presenting expert medical testimony concerning spinal injuries that involve nerve symptoms such as sciatica, resulting from herniated disks in the spine.
Accident reconstruction witnesses are commonly used to replay the moments leading up to a crash. In most cases, these witnesses are taken to the scene of the accident and may be able to provide valuable insight as to the severity of the crash.
Vocational experts may be used to testify concerning the impact the injury has had on the plaintiff’s future employability or whether there has been an impairment of ongoing future income and wages because of the accident. In some cases, they may use an expert life-care planner to testify to the reasonably anticipated future medical expenses that would be incurred as a result of the injuries.
Weight of an Expert Witness’ Testimony
The weight of an expert witness’ testimony heavily depends on the amount of evidence in the case and the level of expertise of the witness. For example, if the expert witness is a medical professional who’s opinion is publically supported by other medical doctors and professionals in favor of the plaintiff, the jury may pay special attention to their testimony and may side with the plaintiff.
Pros and Cons of Hiring an Expert Witness
The benefit of having expert witnesses in Boston car accident cases is that they can explain very technical pieces of information and concepts that are outside the normal life experience and knowledge of jurors who are not experts in medicine.
However, if the medical records and the treating doctor’s notes and reports adequately summarize the plaintiff’s injuries, an expert witness may not be necessary. That could also be true if the medical record and the treating physicians adequately provided opinions in the records and reports that the injury was caused as a direct and proximate result of the car accident.
How to Qualify as an Expert in for Car Accident Cases
In order for a witness to be trusted to provide detailed analysis regarding a highly technical aspect of an auto accident case, they should be widely considered experts in their respective fields. In some cases, they would have to show that they had the requisite education needed for somebody in that field to study. For example, a medical doctor would have to show that they attended and graduated medical school, that they have a medical license, a license to practice medicine, and that they have experience either in research or in clinical practice that is in the same field as the medical issues that will be presented and offered in evidence.
If an expert’s knowledge is challenged, then the court may allow the challenging side to examine and ask questions of the expert to help the judge make a determination whether this proposed expert witness has the requisite knowledge and experience to make them an expert.
Consult With an Attorney Today
An attorney may be able to provide you with valuable help when choosing to hire expert witnesses in Boston car accident cases. Not only could an attorney provide you with legal guidance regarding the selection of expert witnesses, but they may already have a team of experts ready to be used at your disposable. To learn more, or if you wish to consult with an attorney before taking legal action, schedule an appointment with a trusted attorney today.