Many types of evidence can be submitted in a personal injury case, but expert testimony is often crucial in establishing liability for the damages you've suffered from an auto accident. Expert witnesses are typically selected based on advanced education, specialized training, and professional experience working in a specific field.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
Accident reconstruction experts are the most common type of experts called to testify in a personal injury case. Since drivers are encouraged to avoid making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of fault, an accident reconstruction expert uses engineering principles to determine how the incident happened and what was the most likely cause of the collision. They consider factors such as the size and weight of the vehicles involved, the condition of the road, the extent of vehicle damage, and reports from law enforcement officers to create a timeline of events.
Human Factors Experts
The trauma of being involved in an auto accident often affects memory and perception of the events that led up to the collision. When drivers are unable to remember what they did or how much reaction time they had to prevent a crash, a human factors expert may be called to testify.
This type of personal injury expert can testify as to what a driver should have perceived in relation to the limitations of weather, vision angles, and lighting conditions. The testimony of a human factors expert is crucial in establishing the difference between negligence and simple human error.
Doctors who specialize in the treatment of a specific condition such as nerve damage or a TBI may be called on to provide evidence regarding the extent of your injuries, your future medical needs, and the likely cause of your condition. A qualified medical expert doesn't need to be the doctor who treated you personally, as long as he is given the appropriate access to your medical records.
Pain and suffering compensation is difficult to assess in personal injury cases, but a doctor who specializes in the treatment of chronic pain can build a strong case by testifying as to the extent of your discomfort and how it affects your daily activities.
Life Care Planning Experts
In a personal injury case involving permanently disabling injuries, a large part of the settlement will be applied toward the injured person's future medical needs. A life care planning expert can testify as to what those needs might be and how much they might be expected to cost given the current rate of healthcare inflation.
Economic Loss Experts
When injuries from an accident are expected to affect your ability to return to work, an economic loss expert can help quantify the value of your lost wages. The expert may provide an estimate of future earnings given your past earnings history and the potential for future salary increases in the position you held at the time of the accident. If you are undergoing training for a new position, the expert might testify as to your likelihood of securing a new position and what the anticipated difference in wages will be.
Vocational specialists provide testimony focusing on what types of positions you might be able to obtain given your physical health and current level of education. They assess factors such as transferrable skills, resources for retraining, and the local job market to determine your overall employability.
Product Liability Experts
Manufacturers, engineers, or design specialists may be called as experts if your case involves an accident where a defect such as poorly designed tires, faulty brakes, or airbag failure contributed to the incident.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
When the facts surrounding your accident are in dispute, legal representation is essential. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate for your needs and ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement. If appropriate, your attorney can line up any experts who may be able to support your case.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault 's legal team is committed to helping Louisiana residents who've sustained serious injuries receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.