We’ve all probably enjoyed forensic documentary shows or courtroom dramas where lawyers call on an expert witness to help bring down the bad guy and save the day.
But expert witnesses aren’t just for television procedurals. Lawyers and their clients hire and depend on expert witnesses all the time to help win their cases in real life.
And that includes cases involving some of the more complicated auto accidents.
Especially if the negligent driver’s insurance company is disputing your claim, your best bet is to hire an attorney who practices in this area of the law.
After reviewing the facts of your case, your attorney may advise you to hire an expert witness to help make your case.
What Is An Expert Witness?
An expert witness possesses special knowledge in a specific field based on their education and experience.
Expert witnesses lend credibility to your case as they can provide in-depth information and skilled analysis of a particular subject with which most people have little or no experience.
There are many types of expert witnesses, from medical to engineering to mental health, and they can provide compelling testimony if your case goes to a jury trial. They may even help convince a negligent driver’s insurance adjuster to resolve matters and settle your claim.
One such expert is an accident reconstruction specialist.
To determine fault, accident reconstruction experts can use several data points to support their findings, including things like:
- Eyewitness statements
- Police reports
- Sophisticated modeling software that allows them to create an animation of the accident
Other specialists— like engineers, medical professionals, or mental health practitioners — may be called on to testify in their area of expertise, if pertinent to the case.
What’s The Difference Between an Eyewitness And an Expert Witness?
There is a big difference between these two types of witnesses:
Eyewitnesses are people who were on-site at the time of the car accident and can provide information about what they believe was the cause of the crash, things like weather and road conditions, and even who they believe was at fault.
On the other hand, expert witnesses are brought in after an accident to perform analysis that helps attorneys, judges, and juries understand complex concepts with which most people have little or no experience.
What Does an Expert Witness Do?
While most ‘fender-benders’ are fairly straightforward, more complex accidents can become extremely technical, making it difficult to determine fault.
Expert witnesses can help illustrate and clarify the issues of a case, including doing things like:
- Investigating accidents involving complex automobile machinery
- Analyzing wrecks resulting from roadway conditions
- Identifying automobile accidents that may have been the result of weather conditions
- Measuring skid marks to determine when brakes were engaged (or not)
- Profiling injured passengers for things like pain and suffering
Remember, both sides in a lawsuit may use expert witness testimony to help make their case. Sometimes your lawyer may advise you to hire an expert witness to counter the testimony of the opposing side’s expert.
Expert witnesses take complicated concepts and make them easy to understand to help judges and juries make the right decisions about who was at fault.
Are Expert Witnesses Financially Compensated?
The short answer is yes.
If you hire an experienced lawyer with expertise in things like accident injury, they may advise you to hire an expert witness to bolster your case and to achieve a better outcome.
They’ll likely consider the overall value of your case and can discuss with you whether the cost of hiring an expert witness could be offset by any compensation awarded in your case.
First Things First
Before you explore the benefits of using an expert witness, you’ll need to retain the services of an excellent attorney with a good reputation and extensive knowledge in the area of automobile accidents.
The attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads are well aware that injury is just one of the concerns you may have after having been in an accident. You may not be able to work, or take care of your children, or may be subject to any number of other adverse outcomes that can accompany an automobile accident.
The attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads have been practicing the rights of the injured throughout Western Kentucky for over 45 years.
If you have been injured in an auto accident and believe the other driver was accountable, we’d love to help.