Depending on the circumstances that led to your personal injury case, you may need an expert witness for your trial – or several. Expert witnesses are individuals with specific, technical or specialized knowledge about particular subjects. They must have gathered this knowledge through education, training, and/or work experience. Many experts are individuals with high degrees and years of hands-on experience within a particular field. They are hired to analyze a specific element within your case and testify about that element in front of the judge or jury.
For personal injury claims, experts generally fall into the category of accident reconstruction, medical, mental health, or economic. Their testimony is meant to provide the judge and jury with a better understanding of specific issues, support your claim of the other party’s negligence, and reinforce your need for compensation. If you are wondering whether an expert witness would benefit your case, speak with the Houston personal injury attorneys of The Krist Law Firm, P.C. We have years of experience litigating personal injury cases and finding necessary expert witnesses to support our client’s cases.
Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to find out how we can help you.
Why You May Need an Expert Witness
Expert witnesses are utilized in a variety of circumstances. You may need a professional to testify regarding:
- The accident: Many auto accident cases require an accident reconstruction expert. This person has a depth of experience and knowledge in engineering and physics, enabling them to recreate how the accident happened and its results. This expert will use facts such as the type, size, and weight of the vehicles, the angles and speed at which they collided, as well as weather and road conditions to explain the damage. The expert’s testimony offers the jury a clear overview of what happened instead of relying on the drivers’ and passengers’ memories. Other types of accidents may also require a reconstruction expert who will also use the obtainable facts surrounding the incident to determine what exactly happened, how, and the resulting damage.
- Your physical injuries: Judges and juries have little problem understanding concussions and broken bones. However, not all injuries are easily understood by individuals without medical backgrounds. Accidents can lead to less common injuries that sound highly technical or confusing. Without additional explanation by medical experts, juries may not fully understand this injury and how impacts your life.
- Your physical pain: It is easy to believe that the more gruesome an injury looks, the more painful it is. This rationale also means people assume hidden or seemingly smaller injuries are less painful. This is not true. An injury that is entirely invisible to onlookers may be excruciatingly painful. For instance, multiple broken vertebrae may require extensive pain management and still make simple everyday tasks unbearable. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we know that juries often equate bigger accidents or more visible injuries with more pain. Our use of a medical expert would be to ensure the judge and juries understand your body’s response to these injuries.
- The costs of treating your physical injuries: It can be difficult for a jury to understand the actual costs of your injuries and pain, particularly when these conditions require long-term or life-long care. A medical or life care planning expert can speak to the judge and jury about what medical treatments, pain management, and additional care will cost moving forward. This testimony is particularly important if you are expected to need at-home care for a period of time or for the rest of your life following the accident.
- Emotional trauma caused by the accident: Accidents often lead to psychological and emotional trauma in addition to physical injuries. These invisible injuries can be more detrimental to your life and livelihood than your physical injuries. However, the judge and jury may have a hard time recognizing or quantifying emotional trauma. A mental health expert can testify as to how you have been affected by the incident and as to what is common among people who suffered similar accidents.
- The costs of treating mental anguish: Your psychological injuries must be treated following an accident just like your physical injuries. A mental health or economic expert can speak to the current and future expenses of treating the emotional trauma caused by the accident.
- Lost earning capacity: When your injuries cause you long-term harm, disfigurement, or disability, you may be unable to return to your previous career, have a reduced earning capacity, or may be unable to work at all. An economic loss expert can offer explanations to a judge and jury about how your injuries affect your ability to work, what jobs you can or cannot complete, and your future earning potential.
Contact Our Houston Personal Injury Attorneys
The topic of expert witnesses within personal injury cases can be complicated. You and your attorneys must identify issues within your case that would benefit additional explanation. Your attorney will need to identify the best type of professional to analyze and explain this issue to a judge and jury. Your legal team will find experts willing to work with your case within your budget. There are many experts within the Houston area, though you may need to reach out to professionals across the country to gain the expertise you need.
For more information about expert witnesses in personal injury cases, schedule an initial consultation with us by calling (281) 283-8500 or contacting us online.