Despite being the victim of a car crash, you have the burden of proving the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence and linking your injuries to the collision.
Sometimes you are going to need an expert witness to help prove what happened. The police report, pictures of the crash and your testimony may not be enough.
This is one reason why you should not try to handle the case on your own. The Maryland auto accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl can bring in expert witnesses when necessary. Our attorneys have recovered millions for crash victims in this state.
Free consultation and no fees while working on your case. Call us at: 410-297-0271.
The word expert has been used so much that it is important to define what it means in the context of a car accident case. An expert witness is someone who has extensive knowledge in a particular field. For example, an expert witness might have advanced degrees in one or more fields of study. This person may also have many years of practice in a discipline that is relevant to the case.
Expert witnesses are different than eyewitnesses because they did not see the accident. Expert witnesses are brought in after the fact to analyze the situation and explain what they think happened.
There are various types of expert witnesses who might be brought into a personal injury claim.
These experts have a wealth of knowledge in various disciplines, which may include engineering, physics and mathematics. They also have in-depth knowledge of computer software and other tools for reconstructing car crashes.
Accident reconstructionists often have many years of experience investigating crashes, which is why some formerly worked in law enforcement. Some accident reconstruction experts are engineers, physicists or forensic investigators.
These experts use a variety of tools to reconstruct the crash, such as drones, laser scanning and computer simulations.
Medical experts may be brought in to explain precisely how the crash caused your injuries. They may also speak to your long-term prognosis and any permanent impairments you may have to deal with. Medical experts can also talk about the ongoing treatment you will need to have your best quality of life.
Economists can help calculate the value of lost earning capacity if you cannot work as much as you did before. They may also be helpful in establishing the value of ongoing medical care. These are complex calculations that must include various factors, such as age, employment history, promotions, benefits, and more.
Highway experts are often engineers who are brought in to talk about the road conditions where the crash happened. They may be able to speak to how road conditions contributed to the crash. Their testimony can help show how the entity that is responsible for maintaining the road bears liability for the collision.
Many crash victims deal with mental health issues. If you seek compensation for these issues, a mental health expert can explain them in detail. This testimony, along with your own statement, helps to substantiate damages for things like depression and anxiety.
Car accident cases do not always need an expert witness. However, if the victim suffered catastrophic injuries, the insurance company is going to fight hard to avoid paying fair compensation. These victims will need to build a particularly strong case to secure a favorable result.
Expert witnesses are also brought into cases where liability is contested or where the insurance company and the victim’s lawyer are far apart on compensation. Other times there is a need for expert witnesses is when the victim is claiming significant non-economic damages. The value of these damages is subjective, which means you are going to need as much evidence as possible to prove them.
Maryland has laws on expert testimony in civil cases. Under Maryland Rule 5-702 – Testimony by Experts, expert testimony is admissible if the court decides it will help provide a better understanding of the evidence or to verify a fact that is vital to the case.
That means the court must first determine if expert witness testimony is necessary. The court will consider if the witness is qualified based on knowledge, skill, experience, training or education. The court will then determine whether an expert’s witness testimony is appropriate; and whether there are sufficient facts to support his or her testimony.
Under Rule 5-703, experts can base their opinions on facts or data the expert has personally observed or been made aware of. If a court finds that experts in the field would reasonably be expected to rely on similar facts or data in forming an opinion, those facts or data do not need to be admissible for the expert witness’s opinion to be admitted.
If you were seriously injured in a Maryland collision, you are going to need an experienced lawyer to pursue full compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other damages.
You cannot count on the insurance company to take care of you. When you hire an attorney who has secured millions in settlements and jury verdicts for crash victims, the insurance company will be much more likely to offer you the compensation you need. They want to avoid the courtroom, and without a lawyer, there is no possibility of a lawsuit.
Our firm is here to help at no upfront cost. Contact us: 410-297-0271.