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The Role of an Expert Witness in a Car Accident Case

Posted on November 30, 2020 in

The most important part of an Arizona car accident case is to identify who is at-fault for the collision. Since Arizona is a fault insurance state, the driver responsible for the accident is the person you can hold liable for your damages.

Some car accidents are complex, and it can be difficult for your attorney to identify the responsible party alone. To establish your right to compensation, your attorney may enlist the help of an expert witness who can provide insight into how the crash occurred and the extent of your injuries.

What Is an Expert Witness?

Expert witnesses are people with specialized, technical, or scientific knowledge who play valuable roles in car accident claims. Unlike eyewitnesses, who see accidents occur and provide testimony to the court, an expert witness enters your case after the accident already happened. He or she will then provide testimony to the court within his or her area of expertise.

The purpose of the expert witness is to help members of the jury, judges, and attorneys understand how an accident occurred. An expert witness explains difficult, technical concepts that fall beyond general knowledge so the court can make the most informed decision in your case. Your attorney may also consult with an expert witness to provide insight into the nature of your injuries, how the crash occurred, or establish your need for certain damages.

Types of Expert Witnesses in Car Accident Claims

There are many types of expert witnesses your attorney may ask to assist with your case.

  • Medical experts: Your injuries form the foundation of your personal injury claim. Medical professionals can provide information on the extent of your injuries and how they can affect your life moving forward.
  • Accident reconstructionists: It can be difficult to establish liability in complex accidents. Reconstructionists use drawings, digital models, or physical replicas of collisions to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible.
  • Life care planners: Severe injuries require ongoing medical treatment. These experts can determine how the physical and financial impact of the accident will affect you during your recovery period or the rest of your life, helping establish which damages you are eligible for.
  • Mental health specialists: A car accident can affect your mental state as well as your physical health. Mental health specialists can explain how any psychological trauma or illness can affect your quality of life, establishing your right to pain and suffering damages.

The experts your attorney chooses to enlist will depend on the needs of your case. For example, if you are involved in a serious multi-car collision where liability is unclear, your lawyer may contact an accident reconstructionist who can analyze and identify the responsible parties. If you suffer lifelong injuries and require ongoing care, an economist can help identify how much your treatment will cost and calculate your estimated settlement.

Do You Need an Expert Witness?

Expert witnesses can be very valuable to car accident claims, but they are not always necessary. Attorneys consult with expert witnesses on complex cases, especially those involving multiple vehicles, pre-existing medical conditions, or commercial vehicles. To determine if you need an expert witness, speak to a lawyer.

A Prescott Valley car accident lawyer can help you connect with experts who can strengthen your case. Your attorney can also analyze your case and determine whether or not you need an expert witness. If you have not done so already, contact your lawyer as soon as possible to determine your legal options and strategize your next steps.