If you were injured in an accident caused by another motorist, witnesses can play an important role in your insurance claim for damages or your trial if your case goes to court. An eyewitness who saw the crash can testify or submit a statement as to what actually happened, helping to prove liability on the part of the at-fault driver. Expert witnesses become important later, during negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurer or in court. They can help to establish liability and determine damages by offering facts, insights, and analyses based on their areas of expertise.
Types of Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses generally fall into one of the categories below:
- An accident reconstructionist uses evidence from the crash to reconstruct the accident and the events leading up to it. Such testimony is especially valuable to prove liability when there are discrepancies between the statements of the at-fault driver and the victim.
- A medical expert is generally a doctor or other healthcare professional specializing in an area relevant to your claim. The medical expert can explain the details of your injuries, your prognosis, your present and future treatment, the length of your recovery time, how your injuries will impact your life, and any disability that might result from the crash.
- A highway safety expert is typically an engineer who helps establish fault in a wreck by analyzing the scene of the crash, curves or turns in the road, skid marks, road conditions, and other details that shed light on the accident.
- A mental health expert can provide an informed opinion about the effect of the accident on your psychological and emotional well-being. This witness can also discuss the changes in your quality of life due to your accident, helping to determine what compensation you might be owed for your psychological trauma.
- An economist can discuss the financial impact your accident has had and will have on your life, taking into consideration your present and future medical bills, your lost wages, your estimated living expenses, and your ability to work in the near and distant future.
Since most car accident claims are settled out of court, expert witnesses don’t always testify at trial. They might, instead, submit statements or affidavits expressing their opinions on the case.
Have You Been Injured in a South Dakota Car Accident?
An experienced car accident lawyer can utilize expert witnesses to help you prove fault and seek fair compensation. Contact us online or call us at 605-306-4100 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.