How Expert Witnesses Help Car Accident Cases?

Personal Injury | December 8, 2020

Expert Witnesses In Car Accident Cases

If you or somebody you care about is involved in a car accident caused by the actions of another driver, you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. This can include coverage of medical expenses, lost income, household out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, property damage expenses, and more. However, securing this compensation can be complicated. It is crucial to prove the liability of the other party involved in order to obtain the full compensation you are owed, but proving liability presents challenges. In many cases, expert witnesses are called in to help plaintiffs (or the defendants) in a car accident case.

Who Hires Expert Witnesses In Car Accident Cases?

You may have seen expert witnesses used in court cases on your favorite TV show or movie. In those situations, it seems like the expert witnesses are just sitting around waiting to testify. However, the reality is that expert witnesses are typically hired by personal injury attorneys for the plaintiff or the defendant in a case. A skilled Chicago car accident lawyer will examine all of the facts of the case and work to determine its strengths and weaknesses. If the attorney thinks that their case can be strengthened by working with an expert witness, then they hire one to testify.

Who Is An Expert Witness?

An expert witness is a person who has authority pertaining to a particular aspect of the car accident case. For example, there are various types of experts they can be called, including the following:

  • Accident reconstruction experts who can analyze the evidence, recreate the incident and testify about potential liability
  • Economic expert witnesses who can testify about future lost earnings of a victim
  • Engineering or technological experts who can testify about possible defective car parts that caused an accident
  • Medical experts who can testify about the physical, psychological, and emotional injuries the car accident victim has sustained

We can see the definition of an expert witness in this state when we turn to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f)(3). This rule refers to a “controlled expert witness” as a person giving expert testimony who is part of the party, the party’s current employee, or an expert retained by the party. The party using the expert witness must identify:

  • The subject matter the witness will be testifying on
  • The opinions and conclusions of the witness and their basis for these opinions and conclusions
  • Any reports prepared by the expert witness pertaining to the case

An Expert Witness Can Increase The Value Of Your Case

There are various ways that an expert witness can add value to a car accident case. Generally, the most important thing that a witness can do is help establish liability. Without properly establishing liability, an injury victim will be unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to. Additionally, certain types of expert witnesses can help prove the severity of the injuries and also make reports about the total losses the injury victim is expected to incur due to the incident. This information can help convince insurance carriers or a jury to increase the compensation amount that they offer to the plaintiff.