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Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

Why You May Need an Expert Witness in Your Case

Personal injury lawsuits are fact-intensive exercises that require showing the defendant acted in a negligent manner. If evidence is slim, the plaintiff may need expert witnesses—defined as individuals whose opinions by virtue of training or experience are accepted as expert by the court—to establish numerous facts about your trial. Here is some more information about what an expert can do for your case and why your Allentown accident attorney may want to retain one.

An Expert Can Reconstruct the Accident

While lawyers will often tell you to thoroughly document the scene of the accident, that is not always possible. If you have been injured in the crash, you probably won't be in the frame of mind to take pictures of the accident. Furthermore, you may be busy receiving medical attention, which is always paramount. Even if you have been able to take a picture, it may not be sufficient to show who was at fault for the crash. There are experts who specialize in reconstructing the scene of an accident. Based on their knowledge, they can reach their own conclusions as to the responsible party. They can reconstruct the series of events that led up to the accident and help the jury make sense of the evidence.

Medical Experts to Explain Your Injuries

One of the major issues in a personal injury case is the extent of the plaintiff's injuries. Often, the other side is disputing the fact that you have been injured in the first place. Even if they do concede that you've been injured, they may be disputing the extent of your injuries. To receive financial compensation, you must prove that you have been injured and what your injury is. If you cannot show the full extent of your injury, you may not get a sufficient amount to cover your damages. A medical expert can testify as to the nature and extent of your injury. This expert will probably be a licensed physician who has experience as an expert witness. Your Allentown accident attorney will carefully select an expert who can help persuade a jury regarding your injuries.  

Your Expert Must Be Credible

The court will not automatically let everyone who claims to be an expert in front of a jury to testify. For the testimony to be admissible, you will first have to make a showing that your witness truly does have the expertise that they claim. In a court case with experts, there may be a stage where one side tries to keep the witness from testifying. This could involve a challenge to their credentials or to the testimony itself. It will be your lawyer's job to establish the credibility of your expert witness. If this person's testimony does get disqualified, you may not be able to get another expert to testify.

What to Look for in an Expert Witness

Understanding the importance of making the right choice, your Allentown accident attorney will want to closely scrutinize the credentials of the expert witness. Merely finding them in a directory is not enough. Instead, you will need to be confident that the expert is who they say they are and has the knowledge that they represent. The truth will certainly come out over the course of the trial when they are under cross-examination, so you'll want to be confident of the witness's expertise. You'll also want to know what the expert's track record was in previous cases where they have been a witness. In addition, it's wise to scour publicly available information to ensure that the witness has not taken a contrary position in public to the one that they are advancing on the stand. If you have been injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at Metzger & Kleiner. We have experience working with expert witnesses and helping clients obtain fair settlements. For a free consultation, call our office in the Lehigh Valley at (610) 435-7400 or our office in Philadelphia at (215) 567-6616.

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