An expert witness is someone who is qualified to offer expert testimony in court. Courts evaluate an expert’s qualifications using the Daubert test, which considers the methodology by which the expert reaches his or her conclusion. Expert testimony helps the trier of fact understand the evidence through the application of scientific, technical, or specialized expertise.
Expert witnesses can play a valuable role in Lafayette car accident cases. To help present a compelling case to the jury, an experienced attorney may call upon experts to testify on a variety of matters relevant to the case.
Common types of expert witnesses in Lafayette car accident cases can include doctors, accident reconstructionists, economists, roadway design experts, vocational experts, and psychologists. The type of expert utilized in a case depends on the particular issue the attorney is most concerned with. For example, if liability is at issue, an attorney may use an accident reconstruction expert to testify about the cause of the collision. If there is a dispute about whether the victim’s injuries were caused by the crash, a doctor may testify. When attorneys are calculating a victim’s future lost wages, an economist may be helpful.
Expert witness testimonies are heavily weighted, especially during jury trials. The jury usually assumes an expert is more knowledgeable than the victim or attorneys, so they tend to find expert testimony convincing. It is critical to find a qualified expert who can effectively present complex information in a way that an average juror can understand.
Whether or not an expert witness is needed depends on the facts of an individual case. In some situations, an expert witness is simply not needed. Issues of liability or causation are clear enough that hiring an expert would not be a great benefit.
In other cases, victims and their attorneys choose not to hire an expert to save costs. Expert testimony can be very expensive, so it is usually only used in cases where the injuries are especially severe and economic losses are great. This determination can also be based on the total amount of insurance coverage available. For example, if the plaintiff’s maximum insurance limits are low, hiring an expert witness might simply be too expensive given the maximum possible recovery.
If you were hurt in a car accident, you should not hesitate before reaching out to an experienced attorney. Personal injury claims can be complex and difficult to navigate alone, and in the aftermath of a tragic accident, you deserve to relax. A lawyer could take over the details of your case and put their experience to work on your behalf.
An attorney could gather strong evidence, negotiate with insurers, and even prepare for trial if necessary. If expert testimony is required, a Lafayette attorney could seek out qualified witnesses who can present a compelling case to the jury. For a consultation, call today.