Expert Witnesses in St. Louis County Car Accident Cases
When trying to obtain compensation following an auto accident, victims may find it difficult to prove the extent of their damages without the help of an expert witness. An expert witness’ testimony in car accident cases could provide valuable answers to how an accident occurred, why a plaintiff suffered injuries, and why they defense should be found liable for the accident.
To learn more about why an expert witness should be brought in to testify on your behalf, be sure to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney in St. Louis County.
What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is someone who has significant training, education, or experience in a specific area or field. Having basic knowledge of a topic is not enough. An expert witness must be able to demonstrate to the court that they have a level of expertise well above that of the average person. Although considered by some to be an objective standard, being designated as an expert witness is highly subjective, and each judge determines it differently.
Types of Expert Witnesses in St. Louis County
St. Louis County car accident lawyers use a variety of expert witnesses for such cases. Most notably, medical experts can objectively testify to someone’s injuries and to their causation in a car accident case. Car accident lawyers can also hire an accident reconstructionist to testify about how the crash occurred. Other types of experts include engineers and those who can create 3D graphics of the accident scene. In some situations, lawyers may choose to hire an expert to evaluate the vehicle for potential product liability.
Validity of an Expert Witness’ Testimony
The weight given to each expert witnesses’ testimony for a car accident case depends on their level of expertise, which includes their education, experience, and training. This is a key part of every case, which is why it is extremely important to choose the right experts. If a plaintiff’s lawyer chooses an expert who lacks training or experience, particularly when compared to a defense’s expert, the plaintiff could find it hard to obtain a positive outcome.
Benefits of Having an Expert Witness
There are many benefits of hiring expert witnesses to testify at one’s trial. Although they are not necessary in every case, experts typically help add value to an attorney’s argument, regardless of whether they are legally required to call an expert.
In some cases, attorneys are obligated to call expert witnesses to trial. For instance, if medical records do not link a negligent act to the individual’s injuries, an attorney must, by law, have an expert testify on their behalf or risk having the entire case dismissed by the court.
Expert witnesses also contribute to cases by showing injured individuals’ future and long-term damages. Economists can outline someone’s lost wages, and medical experts can discuss future medical care and the costs associated with it.
Problems with Having a Personal Relationship
Expert witnesses are allowed to have existing relationships with plaintiffs, though it can be damaging to the plaintiff’s case, depending on the relationship. If the expert is the treating physician that the plaintiff has seen for several years, an existing relationship should not be a problem.
If the expert treating physician is also a relative, it can create a difficult situation for the plaintiff at trial, as the defense could argue that the expert is only testifying on the plaintiff’s behalf because of their relation. Lawyers should be very careful when choosing experts for personal injury cases to avoid similar potential challenges.
Hire Legal Assistance Today
One of the main reasons why you should elect to retain the services of a St. Louis County attorney is that they could put you in touch with expert witnesses’ who may be willing to testify on your behalf. By having such testimony on your side, you may be able to prove some of the more technical aspects of your case, such as how the car accident occurred, whether speed played a role in the accident, and whether a person’s reckless driving behaviors resulted in your injuries. To get started, be sure to schedule a consultation today for an initial case review.