Thousands of personal injury cases are brought before America’s legal system each year. They may stem from vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, medical malpractice and any number of other situations. Regardless of the reasons for these cases or the circumstances surrounding them, though, strengthening and solidifying them is crucial.
Driving the Point Home
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When it comes to proving the many aspects of a personal injury case, law firms like Polito and Associates have a number of tools in their arsenals. In-depth knowledge of the law, hard-core evidence, extensive research skills, witnesses’ accounts and other assets go a long way toward building a solid case, but they’re not always enough.
Sometimes, outside intervention is required to truly drive a point home. This is where expert witnesses come into play.
What Is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is someone with specific knowledge and understanding of certain fields that are relevant to a case. He or she is called upon to testify in court, answer questions regarding the case and provide professional opinions based on the facts at hand.
These specialists aren’t actually involved in the case itself and didn’t personally witness the incidents brought before the court. Still, their expertise can be invaluable in proving or disproving certain claims. While different types of expert witnesses exist, some are more common than others.
Medical specialists are often called in for cases involving accidents and medical malpractice lawsuits. In these instances, a medical expert will examine the details of a victim’s injuries and formulate an opinion of the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options and other aspects involved. When it comes to malpractice, he or she may also be asked to testify on whether the physician in charge of the victim’s care did everything possible to provide adequate treatment.
Medical expert witnesses may be obstetricians, thoracic surgeons, physicians specializing in traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries or any number of other professionals in the medical field. In certain cases, mental health experts may also enter the picture to help determine emotional trauma or pain and suffering.
Product defects are culprits in a wide range of injury and wrongful death suits. They can come about due to improper testing, faulty design, sub-standard manufacturing techniques, cheap materials and numerous other issues.
For cases involving defective products, manufacturing experts may be called upon to help provide clarity. These might include flawed automotive parts, malfunctioning medical devices, potentially dangerous toys and defective furniture to name a few.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
Evidence is crucial in proving fault in accident cases. Sometimes, though, there’s little to go on or the available evidence is inconclusive. Perhaps no one saw the accident occur or no security cameras were in place to capture the details.
In such instances, an accident reconstruction expert may be asked to provide assistance. These specialists use their training, experience, various types of software and other tools to help piece together the details leading up to an accident and how they factored into its outcome.
In a Nutshell
Expert witnesses aren’t always needed to prove a case and determine which damages should be awarded. That being said, evidence and eyewitness testimonies may need a certain amount of backup in order to be conclusive. While medical, manufacturing and accident reconstruction experts are among the most common, almost any professional with specialized knowledge of a relevant field could come into play.