In a personal injury lawsuit following an auto accident, the plaintiff (the person who filed the case) must prove that he/she was injured, as well as prove the other driver’s fault. Evidence must be used to prove that the other driver was at least 50% responsible for the crash. This evidence comes in many forms, one of which is expert testimony.
Expert Witness vs. Eyewitnesses
An eyewitness is simply anyone who happened to see the auto accident happen. Often, eyewitnesses give statements to police that eventually become part of the official police report. Eyewitnesses can also be called upon at trial to describe how the crash occurred, in their view. They can describe variables such as road conditions, the weather, how fast the vehicles were moving, and many other important details.
An expert witness is hired after the crash to participate in the claims process. The expert witness did not see the crash. Instead, the expert is asked to analyze certain facts gathered by others as part of the investigation or during the medical treatment of the injured person.
Typically, the expert witness has many years of hands-on experience in his/her field and uses that experience to explain complicated issues to the judge or jury.
Types of Expert Witnesses in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
Not all Texas personal injury cases require expert witnesses, but they are quite common in complex car accidents, truck accidents and public transportation accidents. Either side, the plaintiff or defense, can hire experts. Several types of expert witnesses could get involved in a particular case:
- Injury experts: Surgeons and physicians can testify as to the plaintiff’s injuries, treatment plans, costs and recovery. Medical experts are the most common type of experts in auto accident cases.
- Mental health experts: Psychologists or other mental health professionals can testify regarding the plaintiff’s emotional distress, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
- Accident reconstructionists: These experts explain how and why the car accident happened using data gathered from the crash scene.
- Traffic safety experts: People specializing in highway design, road maintenance and related fields can give testimony about how road conditions may have affected the wreck.
- Engineering experts: Engineers can address technical aspects of a crash, such as possible mechanical failure, vehicle maintenance problems and more.
- Vocational experts: These are job specialists who testify regarding a plaintiff’s lost wages and lost earning capacity due to a long-term or permanent disability.
- Accountants or economists: These financial professionals may testify to establish how much monetary damage a plaintiff has sustained due to the accident.
Our Dallas Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers Are Here for You
The Dallas personal injury lawyers at Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Dallas would be pleased to discuss your potential legal claim and the role expert witnesses could play in it. To arrange a free initial consultation with our team today, call 800-TedLyon or send us a message.