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What Role Do Medical Experts Play in a Personal Injury Case?

Medical experts often play a very important role in personal injury cases. Their testimony can help persuade an insurance company or jury that the plaintiff’s injuries are real, that those injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions, and that the injuries entitle the plaintiff to compensation.

Un Abogada de lesiones personales can help you find the right medical expert to examine your injuries and provide a professional opinion to bolster your case.

What Forensic Medicine Says About Your Injury May Affect Your Case

The field of forensic medicine is devoted to determining how a person’s injuries occurred. For example, if the insurance company denies that their client hit you with their car, a medical expert can:

  • Examine you thoroughly by looking at the wound(s), asking about symptoms, and asking you to demonstrate things like your current range of motion
  • Review known details of the accident and how it happened, including the make and model of the liable party’s car, how fast they were allegedly going, and your position relative to the car
  • Determine injury causation—that is, whether or not your injuries could have been caused by the collision that you and the evidence have described

In a medical malpractice case, medical testimony can also help prove damages by shedding light on the negligent doctor’s actions. A medical expert can help confirm that neither they nor any other competent professional should have behaved as your doctor did.

Expert Medical Opinions May Determine Your Settlement

In filing a personal injury case, one of your main goals is to recover enough compensation to cover your financial, physical, and mental losses. An exam from a medical expert can help determine what you get in a settlement or jury award by:

  • Establishing how serious your injuries are. Generally, the more severe or permanent injuries you sustain, the more your case is worth.
  • Determining what treatments you need to get better or manage symptoms. You deserve reimbursement for the money you have spent on medical care, but the insurer will only pay for treatments that they believe were strictly necessary. A medical expert can confirm the necessity of each treatment.
  • Deciding if you will need treatments in the future. Since you only get the chance to sue for compensation once, you should include probable future expenses in your request for damages. A medical expert can tell you if you will need additional treatments down the line and, if so, how much they may cost.

This is how a medical expert can help your personal injury attorney calculate how much your case is worth.

Where Can You Find a Medical Expert Witness?

Several different parties might ask or insist on you being examined by a professional they trust. Your lawyer can help you find a doctor, or the insurer might request that you see a doctor of their choosing. If you are filing a workers’ comp case without an attorney, you would have to accept a randomly chosen medical expert.

Whoever is conducting your independent medical examination (IME), it is important that you:

  • Prepare for the exam by working with your attorney to figure out how you should word responses to the questions you will be asked.
  • Be honest with the examiner. If you do not know or remember something, tell them that.
  • Neither exaggerate nor try to hide any symptom or injury.

What if You Disagree With the Medical Expert’s Findings?

This is always a possibility, especially if the doctor was appointed by an insurance company with a vested interest in undermining your case.

Again, always be courteous and honest with the person conducting the exam. Your attorney can help you figure out what to say and, if you disagree with the expert’s findings, collect medical documentation and other opinions to counter their statement.

How Long Do You Have to Act on the Medical Expert’s Findings?

While medical experts can play a major role in your personal injury case, you only have so much time to get their testimony and use it against the liable party. This limit varies by state. For example, California gives you three years to file a suit, according to PCCh § 335.1.

The sooner you can hire a lawyer and get a medical expert to examine you, the more credible your case may be: the insurer may interpret any delay as a sign that you are not as badly injured as you claim.

Our Team Wants to Play a Key Role in Your Personal Injury Case

Llamado KJT Grupo de Derecho today for a free case assessment. We can tell you more about the role medical experts play in a personal injury or wrongful death claim, as well as the actions our firm can take to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. You can reach our office at (818) 507-8525.

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Contact our firm to get started.
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