When you face a personal injury case, you can and should get help from a lawyer immediately if you are the victim. Your lawyer will do their best to get you reasonable compensation for all damages as soon as possible. Also, they will take all the needed steps to ensure that the defending party agrees to pay the claimed amount. One of the steps in personal injury case preparation is the hiring of legal and medical experts.
An “expert” is defined as A person with specific knowledge, understanding, skill, and experience in a particular practice, methodology, modality, or education. Personal injury lawyers often hire various experts to help them prove certain aspects of their cases, such as duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
A “lay” or “fact” witness is only allowed to testify as to the facts. For example, they tell a jury what the defendant said, what the plaintiff said, or what they heard someone say. Contrast these with experts. Experts are allowed to use their special training, education, knowledge, experience, and skill when testifying. In other words, they can give an opinion about whether it is more likely than not that the causes and effects of a personal injury were connected to and caused by the defendant’s conduct.
Typically, there are two classifications of experts in a personal injury case.
Some cases remain too complicated to prove in a short time with layman’s evidence. Or the defending party may continue adamantly he or she didn’t commit any negligent act. However, it is always the highest priority for the lawyer to settle the case outside the court. In many cases, the lawyer can’t achieve this target without showing the other side that the plaintiff is serious about winning. Hiring experts early on shows the claims adjuster that the plaintiff has built a solid, winnable case. And this encourages a reasonable settlement before a full-blown trial.
Then the case finally enters the court. And that’s where the real battle begins. Court cases involve logic, theories, tests, experiences, professionalism, etc. The court puts everything to the test. The plaintiff then attempts to prove the negligence of the party at fault. And the at-fault party defends its position by claiming otherwise.
Now it has become clear that the defendant is going to defend their position to the last breath. The experts become necessary to untie the knots in the case. These experts use the experience of their fields to prove or disprove the causes and after-effects of the event. They use their knowledge to estimate what might have happened.
Personal injury lawyers will tend to hire the following experts most to prove up the plaintiff’s claims:
Experts, no matter what type, will put forward their findings of the case to find or reject the relation between the occurrence of the event and the damages and harm caused in that event. After all, this remains the plaintiff’s burden alone. Without experts’ help, it can be tricky, if not impossible, for either side to establish a defense or a prosecution.
Below are the most common types of experts used by both sides in courts.
Bodily injuries are the most critical aspect in deciding the compensation received in your injury case. The medical costs to fix the damages can be extremely high. But this depends on the severity of the injuries. So it wouldn’t be wrong to say that most injury cases revolve around bodily harm. And this comes with the costs of treating the physical damage.
In an injury case, the defendant will be most adamant in proving they weren’t the result of the mishap. The defense will claim fraud, saying these were pre-existing injuries or exaggerated. Also, the at-fault party might try to prove your injuries with something else later. In other words, they will opine the injuries were not from the event in which the defendant was involved.
That’s where the medical examiner comes in.
The process goes like this. The defendant makes a demand to have the plaintiff medically examined. The examiner would then form an opinion on behalf of the defendant paying him. They say the plaintiff’s harm happened from a different source or event. But the expert may say the money spent on the treatment is unnecessarily costly.
Some of the harm might even be blamed on the driver’s age. This expert wouldn’t pay much attention to the injuries. Instead, he’d pass his “hired gun” opinion within less than half an hour of meeting with and examining the plaintiff. Most plaintiffs’ lawyers and victims consider these so-called “experts” biased against the injury victims.
The defending party in the case also hires engineers and reconstructionists. The defense hiring these experts is to prove the plaintiff is lying or the plaintiff is “exaggerated.” For example, the engineer will examine the car’s speeds at the time of the collision. Then say that the mishap couldn’t have severity enough to cause the plaintiff harm associated with the event.
Calculations of changes in velocity can prove the impact was less severe than stated. There’s a mark set for humans as to how powerful an effect they can take without suffering severe harm. Some results cause no injuries at all, according to them.
But this mark has become set after many tests. According to this standard target, a human body will not sustain severe damage or tolerate an impact at a speed of 5mph.
The defendant’s expert will try to prove that the severity of your case’s impact was less than it was. However, this is not where it all ends. Now your lawyer takes care of it from here. Your legal counsel will find the flaws in this method of calculating the change in velocity.
The data and evidence used to collect information and reach these results are often weak, unreliable, or easily deniable. The defendant’s biomechanical expert often uses guesswork, which weakens their testimony altogether.
There are cases in which the results in catastrophic injuries to the victim. The victim might rely on permanent or long-term medical treatment and care in this scenario. In this case, both sides bring in their life care planner as experts. Their job is to prove that the costs of future maintenance and medical treatment require a significant sum of money for life.
The life planner will use their knowledge to place a dollar figure on your care for life. A number much smaller than the value demanded by the victim’s lawyer is what the defense attorney wants. So both sides bring in their experts to chip away at each other. Expertise and credibility persuade most jurors.
Experts can be critical in a personal injury case. Whether your case looks easy or challenging to prove, contact the right law firm to represent you in your injury case. Only an experienced lawyer can estimate and analyze your situation correctly. A seasoned attorney will ensure that your compensation is received through an outside court settlement. But if the case enters the court’s premises, he will apply all his knowledge to get you the financial award you deserve. If you or your loved one has a personal injury case in Los Angeles, get in touch with Ehline Law Firm. A free evaluation done for your case is a phone call away.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.
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