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The Role of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

January 26 2024 | Personal Injury

Expert witnesses can play a critical role in personal injury cases by helping the court and jury understand complex or nuanced issues related to the case. They can provide specialized knowledge and professional opinions based on their expertise to clarify matters that the average person may not understand. Expert witnesses who provide unbiased and credible testimony could change the outcome of a case.

What Is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is an individual with a high level of training, education and/or experience in a particular subject that is relevant to a personal injury case. Expert witnesses must meet certain qualifications, standards and credentials. In addition, they must be prepared to take the stand during a personal injury trial. Their testimony will be subject to scrutiny by the opposing party during cross-examinations.

What Is the Role of an Expert Witness?

The role of an expert witness in a personal injury case is to provide an expert opinion that can clarify complex issues for the court. Expert witness testimony can help a jury understand complicated, technical or scientific aspects of a case. The information provided by an expert can allow a jury to make informed decisions and assess the victim’s damages accurately.

Types of Expert Witnesses Often Hired in Personal Injury Cases

An expert witness is not someone who saw the injury or accident happen (an eyewitness) but a professional who can provide insider knowledge on a specific aspect of the case, such as the victim’s injuries or the mechanics of a car accident.

Common expert witnesses hired for personal injury cases include:

  • Medical experts
  • Mental health professionals
  • Accident reconstruction experts
  • Engineering experts
  • Financial experts
  • Economists
  • Vocational rehabilitation experts
  • Forensic experts
  • Manufacturing experts
  • Subject-matter specialists (occupational safety specialists, traffic pattern specialists, etc.)

The expert(s) hired will vary according to the type of personal injury case and its nuances. A life care planning expert, for example, may be hired to give insights into the costs of ongoing medical care and support services for a catastrophic injury.

How Can Expert Witnesses Impact a Personal Injury Case?

The right expert witness could make or break a personal injury case. During settlement negotiations, input from an expert witness could compel an insurance company to reach a favorable outcome rather than risk going to trial. During a trial, an expert witness can educate a judge and jury by offering opinions and insights into various aspects of the case. This could affect the outcome of the case.

Expert witnesses can also strengthen a claim by establishing one or more of the elements necessary to prove a case. An expert witness can analyze evidence and reconstruct an accident to establish causation, for example, or provide scientific and factual explanations as to the link between the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s injuries. An expert witness can also demonstrate the plaintiff’s damages and the impact an injury will have on his or her life.

How to Hire an Expert Witness for a Connecticut Personal Injury Case

Hiring the right expert witness is important, as opposing counsel will try their best to discredit your expert’s testimony. Find highly qualified experts who are at the top of their fields by hiring a New Haven personal injury lawyer to represent you. A law firm will have connections to the top experts in the country. If you are interested in hiring expert witnesses to strengthen your personal injury case, contact Jacobs & Jacobs. We offer free case consultations in New Haven.

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