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What Is an Expert Witness?
If you have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person or entity, you may need to pursue compensation through a personal injury case. For a personal injury lawsuit to be successful, you will need to present plenty of evidence to back up your claims. Winning these cases requires you to:
- Establish that the other party owed you a duty of care.
- That the duty of care they owed you was breached.
- That the breach was the direct cause of your accident and injuries.
- That you suffered actual, quantifiable losses.
All of that can seem overwhelming, and it is recommended that you work with a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney for these cases. One of the most effective sources of evidence you can use to build your case in court is an expert witness.
What Types of Expert Witnesses Are Used in Personal Injury Cases?
No two personal injury cases are the same. Likewise, there are different types of expert witnesses for personal injury cases. For some claims, you may need only one type of expert witness. For other claims, more than one type may be necessary.
- Medical experts: Medical expert witnesses will provide their expert opinions regarding the cause and severity of your injuries. They will also be able to explain what the expected outcome of those injuries will be. Expert medical witnesses are especially important for medical malpractice cases, as they will be required to provide their opinion about how another medical professional deviated from the standard of care owed to you.
- Financial experts: Personal injuries will lead to various types of financial losses, sometimes reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars. In order to recover these expenses, a financial expert can help frame these losses (including expected future financial loss) in real terms for a judge or jury.
- Psychologists or mental health experts: Not all damages in a personal injury case are deal with direct financial losses. A psychologist or mental health expert will be able to determine whether you have suffered from psychological, mental, or emotional harm. These experts can testify in your case about how these damages have impacted your life and how they will impact your future.
- Accident reconstruction experts: Proving what caused an accident and determining who is liable is one of the most difficult parts of a personal injury case. It may be necessary to have an expert accident reconstructionist completely investigate what happened and rebuild it piece-by-piece to determine the cause. An accident reconstruction expert will also help walk the court through what happened in the incident.
- Design and manufacturing experts: If your case involves a defective product and you are seeking damages from a negligent company or manufacturer, you will need an expert witness to help explain how the product was to blame for your injuries.
Expert Witnesses Are Often the Key to Success
It is one thing for a judge or jury to hear from you and your attorney. It is another thing entirely for them to hear from an expert in their field. An expert witness can prove:
- The liability of the defendant
- The extent of your injuries
- Your total economic and non-economic losses
Whether you are working with a Miami personal injury attorney or representing yourself, an expert witness can make or break your case.