How Are Experts Used in Personal Injury Cases?
After being injured in a negligence-based accident, the injured party can decide to pursue compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. The person suing (i.e. the plaintiff) will need to prove the four elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Types of Experts in Personal Injury Cases
In proving these four elements, the plaintiff can submit evidence, including testimony and/or statements from expert witnesses. Expert witnesses typically fall into two categories:
- consulting experts, who can advise either side on technical issues, and
- testifying experts, who offer detailed reports and testimony to paint a picture of case facts.
Common experts used in personal injury cases include:
- Accident reconstructionists. These experts can use computer software, mathematics, and other tools to determine the cause of an accident as well as the injuries people may suffer if they are involved in the accident.
- Chemical or pharmaceutical experts. If your personal injury case involves medicine, toxicology, chemistry, or anything else related to chemicals, a chemical engineer or chemist can be a valuable expert to explain the complexities of the chemicals involved and how they affected the plaintiff/case.
- Engineering experts. An engineer can look at roadway plans or vehicle information and help explain why a certain factor, like iced-over roads or overloaded trucks, caused or contributed to an accident.
- Forensic accountants. Forensic accountants and other financial experts can help establish the loss of income and economic damages a plaintiff suffered. These experts can be especially helpful in cases where the plaintiff did not have a traditional job or paycheck, such as a business owner, influencer, etc.
- Highway safety experts. If roadway conditions contributed to the severity of or caused a motor vehicle accident, a highway safety expert or independent engineer can offer their opinions concerning whether the conditions were negligent and how they contributed to the accident.
- Life care planners. This type of expert can explain how a catastrophic injury can impact a person’s future medical needs or disability status.
- Manufacturing experts. In a product liability case or a case involving issues with the manufacturing of a vehicle, a manufacturing expert can testify to how poor manufacturing contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Mental health professionals. If a plaintiff is seeking non-economic damages such as emotional distress or PTSD, a mental health expert can share their expert opinion on how the accident or incident has impacted the plaintiff.
- Vocational rehabilitation expert. If a plaintiff has suffered a loss of wage and lost their ability to work, they may employ the help of a vocational rehabilitation expert who can speak to the potential physical and mental limitations (from the accident and injuries) that affect the plaintiff’s vocational abilities.
Aggressive Representation in Personal Injury Claims
At Eliot Reiner, APLC, we are equipped to help clients build a strong case and connect with expert witnesses. Our attorneys handle a wide variety of cases, including:
- Bike accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accident
- Product liability claims
- Premises liability claims
- Construction accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Boating accidents