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What Role Does Expert Testimony Play in Personal Injury Cases?

Expert testimony plays multiple roles in personal injury cases, which is why personal injury attorneys may consult with various types of expert witnesses while building their clients’ case strategies. When plaintiffs seek compensatory damages for the harm they suffered, their personal injury claims must prove the opposing party caused it.

How Expert Testimony Applies to Personal Injury Cases

Legal expert testimony can help clear the path to justice and compensation for plaintiffs. If you work with a personal injury lawyer on such a case, they could talk with medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, economists, and others to determine the scale of your losses and the compensation you can demand.

Expert Testimony Establishes Causation and Liability in Injury Cases

Expert witness statements in personal injury cases can help establish how the defendant’s actions or inactions caused the plaintiff’s injuries. This is important in injury cases as it satisfies the causation element of negligence. This element requires injured parties to prove how a defendant’s behavior harmed them.

Expert witnesses with specialized knowledge or experience can connect the dots to show how the incident happened and who was at fault. If there are conflicting opinions about who is responsible for an accident or injury, an accident reconstruction expert can help establish causation.

Expert Testimony Can Assess the Financial Impact of Your Accident

Expert witnesses can testify about the short- and long-term damages in a personal injury case. They can provide detailed analyses of immediate losses, such as medical bills, rehabilitation therapy costs, income loss, and pain and suffering.

Professionals can weigh in on future losses someone will experience because of their injuries. They can also estimate a person’s future medical treatment costs, future income loss, and lasting pain and suffering.

Expert Witnesses Clarify Complex Issues From a Credible, Impartial Perspective

Professionals with specialized knowledge, skills, and experience can offer insight from a credible and authoritative perspective. They are also viewed as impartial because their testimony is based on factual and verifiable evidence.

They can also help others understand a person’s accident or injury from various angles. These factors underscore the importance of expert witnesses and why lawyers use the information they share to bolster their clients’ claims.

Other Ways Expert Opinions in Court Help Lawyers and Their Clients

Not all personal injury cases end up in court, but expert witness testimony can affect the outcome for those that do. An expert’s assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a case can determine if injured parties win a court award.

Even cases that go to trial can still end up in a settlement if expert opinions expressed in court steer both parties toward negotiations.

Expert Witness Testimony Examples

Below are three examples of how expert testimony can play a role in a civil lawsuit case:

  • A medical expert in a malpractice case: If a patient wants to sue their doctor for an injury suffered during a medical procedure, an expert witness, such as a physician or surgeon who performs the same kind of procedure, could testify about the accepted standard of care and how the doctor’s actions or inactions fell short of that standard. They can also demonstrate how negligence injured the patient and caused their injuries.
  • Experts on lost earnings: An expert may weigh in on the loss of earnings a plaintiff experienced and will experience because of their injuries. This could go beyond existing losses of wages or salary while recovering from injuries, as plaintiffs may also experience reduced earning capacity, and some may not be able to work again.
  • An accident reconstructionist: In an auto accident case, a lawyer could call on an accident reconstruction expert who can speak to what caused and contributed to the accident. This may be especially important in cases where fault for the wreck is in dispute.

Injury Attorneys Understand How to Use Expert Testimony to Help Clients’ Cases

The role of experts in lawsuits varies according to the kind of case a lawyer handles. As lawyers investigate their clients’ cases and collect evidence, they can draw upon expert witness testimony for the reasons outlined above. They also can use the testimony to:

  • Develop and strengthen an effective case strategy
  • Challenge the opposing party’s claims and evidence
  • Emphasize technical details or specialized knowledge clarifying a case’s complexities
  • Encourage the opposing side to settle a case instead of going to trial

KJT Law Group Can Explain the Role Expert Testimony Plays in Your Personal Injury Case

Call our law office today for a free consultation if you are seeking an attorney for a civil action. We can review your case, advise you on your legal options, and explain how we could use information from experts to support your case.

We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible. California’s statute of limitations deadline, CCP § 335.1, gives injured parties two years to sue for damages. This time can go by quickly, so call our legal team today to get started.

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