The Role of Expert Witnesses in Car Accident Litigation
Extensive preparation goes into building and trying a car accident case. When that car accident involves severe injuries, multiple parties, a governmental entity, or another complicating factor, the time and work spent on that case easily doubles.
Car accident attorneys use expert witnesses to help in gathering and processing large amounts of technical information outside of the legal field. Then, expert witnesses are presented at the trial to convey this information to the jury.
Who are Expert Witnesses?
Expert witnesses are individuals with extensive knowledge, qualifications, or experience in a particular field of study or occupation. They are regularly consulted by attorneys in personal injury cases and may provide testimony in court on behalf of the plaintiff (the injured party) or the defendant (the negligent party).
While expert witnesses are paid for their time and travel, they are impartial and their testimony holds weight in court. It is ultimately the judge’s decision whether to allow an expert witness to testify.
How Expert Witness Testimony is Used in a Car Accident Litigation
Expert witnesses help jurors to understand complicated issues in car accident cases. They are retained to resolve and clarify disputes within their field of expertise and then explain their findings to the jury.
Car accident attorneys use expert witnesses to demonstrate the following and more:
- Establish fault in an accident;
- Determine the cause of an accident;
- Identify contributing factors to an accident;
- Assess current and future medical expenses;
- Estimate lost earnings and loss of earning potential; and
- Calculate the total financial damages in a case.
Expert witnesses are invaluable when defending attacks by the other party because expert witness testimony is backed by logic.
Categories of Expert Witnesses in Car Accident Litigation
Expert witnesses may be consulting experts or testifying experts. Car accident attorneys regularly use consulting experts in the pre-trial stages of a case.
Consulting experts may be in any field from automotive engineering to mental health. They help lawyers prepare a case for trial by providing technical information and theories.
A testifying expert may also come from any relevant field. Testifying experts, as stated above, are unbiased witnesses called at trial. They break down complex information for the jury.
Types of Expert Witnesses in Car Accident Litigation
Expert witnesses hail from any field imaginable. The following is just a sample of expert witnesses used in car accident litigation:
- Accident reconstruction experts. Accident reconstructionists analyze car accidents to determine their cause and any contributing factors;
- Medical experts. Medical experts may come from any specialty. Overall, medical experts present opinions and reports on a victim’s injuries and their prognosis for recovery;
- Financial experts or economists. These experts are used to calculate a victim’s financial losses. This may include lost wages, benefits, and loss of future earning ability;
- Vocational experts. Vocational experts testily about a victim’s ability to perform their previous job and what types of jobs the victim may be able to hold in the future; and
- Mental health experts. Mental health experts can speak to the mental and emotional impact of an accident on a victim’s life and well-being.
The plaintiff and defendant may each call expert witnesses to prove or defend their claims. Lawyers are permitted to question expert witnesses as to their qualifications and object to a witness’s use as an expert.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Car Accident Litigation Attorney Today
If you would like more information about how expert witnesses can help you win your car accident case, reach out to Mingo & Yankala today. Mingo & Yankala is a full-service, award-winning Milwaukee law firm.
We are proud to provide our clients with the personalized service they deserve. Meet with a Milwaukee car accident lawyer at Mingo & Yankala in a complimentary consultation to discuss your situation and find out how we can help you achieve your legal goals.
Mingo & Yankala has the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to settle or successfully litigate your car accident case. Call or contact us online now.