If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, your personal injury lawyer may use an expert witness to help prove your case.
In this Article
Definition of Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses are professionals who can objectively review the facts of your accident and offer an independent expert opinion on behalf of your claim. They can provide insights into complex aspects of an accident or injury case that a judge or jury may not understand without their expertise.
Types of Experts for Personal Injuries
The type of expert witness used in an accident case depends on the specifics of your case. Examples include medical professionals, engineers, construction workers, and accident reconstruction experts. They can explain to a judge or jury how the parties involved acted negligently and why you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
An expert witness can also help to explain why your injuries are serious and why you deserve a larger damage award. Expert testimony may provide invaluable evidence in proving your case and convincing the jury that you are owed compensation.
How to Find Out if You Need Expert Witness Testimony
If you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to discuss whether an expert witness is right for your case. Experienced personal injury lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers can help you understand how an expert witness may be able to help your case. Contact us today to get started.
Who Can be a Personal Injury Expert Witness?
A personal injury expert witness is typically a qualified professional in the field of medicine, engineering or some other relevant area. They must be knowledgeable about the specifics of your case and have expertise in the areas that are pertinent to your claim. The type of expert witness used will vary depending on the details of your case.
Expert Witness Definition and Laws in Illinois
The definition of an expert witness is someone who has specialized knowledge in a certain field, and their opinion can be used to educate or inform the judge or jury. In Illinois, expert witnesses are governed by Supreme Court Rule 213 which outlines the process for selecting a “controlled expert witness” and what qualifies as expert testimony. The expert witness’s duty is to provide impartial and unbiased testimony to help the court reach a verdict.
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An experienced personal injury lawyer at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers can explain the specifics of how an expert’s testimony may be used in your case.
Who Are Common Expert Witnesses in a Personal Injury Case?
Common expert witnesses in a personal injury case include medical professionals, engineers, economists, life care specialists, accident reconstruction experts and other specialists. They can provide invaluable insight into the circumstances of your accident and why you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. They are different from a lay witness who can only provide testimony based on their own observations and experience, not expert knowledge. Common examples of experts who may provide independent expert opinion based on special knowledge include:
Reconstructionist – Determines Liability by Investigating the Crash Scene
Accident reconstructionists are experts who can determine how the accident happened and which parties were liable. They evaluate evidence from the crash scene, such as skid marks and vehicle damage. Their expertise enables them to create a timeline of events that occurred prior to the accident in order to assess liability for damages.
Economist – Determines Financial Loss and Other Damages
An economist can analyze the financial losses and other damages associated with your claim. They typically review documents such as medical bills, insurance policies, and employment records to determine the amount of compensation that should be awarded. An economist will calculate lost wages, future lost wages, promotions, raises, and lost benefits. They can also examine future lost earning capacity.
Economist Personal Injury Analysis Example
Essentially, an economist can calculate salary increases during a work life expectancy. For example, if a teenager in college who delivers pizza is killed in an accident, his future lost earnings would include the salary of a college graduate, not simply the delivery job wages. Further, an expert will calculate the teenager’s work life expectancy, meaning how many years the teenager would have worked. Often an economist adds substantial value to the loss of income damages.
Engineer – Determines Cause of Accident
Engineering experts can determine the cause of an accident by investigating factors such as product design, construction defects, or manufacturing issues. They may also be able to identify hazards that led to the injury and safety measures that should have been taken to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Medical Professional – Testifies to Injury Severity
A medical professional may also be used as an expert witness in a personal injury case. They can testify about the severity of your injuries and provide opinions as to whether or not your injury is permanent. A medical professional may also give their opinion on the cause of your injury and determine if future medical treatment may be necessary.
Life Care Planner – Determines Future Medical Expenses
A life care planner is an expert who can determine the cost of future medical expenses related to a personal injury case. They create a comprehensive plan for the care and treatment of an injured person that outlines long-term care needs, medications, assistive devices, home modifications, and other ongoing medical costs. This plan provides invaluable information in determining how much compensation should be awarded.
How Can an Expert Witness Add Value to My Case?
An expert witness can provide invaluable insight and expertise to a personal injury case. Their testimony can help educate the jury or judge on the details of your accident, as well as help them understand how much compensation should be awarded.
How to Find Out If Expert Witness Testimony Will Help Your Case
An experienced personal injury lawyer at The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers can explain if an expert witness is necessary in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.