In personal injury cases, expert witnesses play a vital role in the litigation process. When properly used, an expert witness can also force an early resolution to a case and help avoid a trial. Expert witnesses are called to testify in court because they have specialized knowledge or experience in a particular field that is of significance in the case. There are different types of expert witnesses, but they all serve the important purpose of helping to resolve liability questions and to establish or refute medical causation.
A common use of an expert witness would be when a personal injury attorney hires an accident reconstructionist, who plays a role in analyzing the collision and reconstructing the accident. This type of expert would inspect the scene of the crash and the vehicles involved as well as other available evidence. He or she would then apply scientific methodology to determine how and why the accident occurred.
In cases involving expert testimony, our experience Atlanta personal injury attorney will evaluate the cost of hiring the expert witness and the other upfront expenses, if any, required in the case. Most expert witnesses charge an up-front retainer fee, which can be thousands of dollars. They then will bill at an hourly rate, with fees for depositions and court testimony being billed at a higher hourly rate. Thus, in cases where expert witnesses are needed to prove liability and damages, the potential recovery must be large enough to justify the cost of the expert witness.
Different Types of Expert Witnesses
Depending on the nature of your case, our Atlanta personal injury lawyer may advise you that your case requires an expert witness with a specific specialty or knowledge. On your behalf, our firm may consult with:
Accident reconstructionist – They inspect the accident vehicles and interview witnesses and help determine how your accident occurred.
Department of Transportation specialist – If road defects were the cause of your automobile accident, this expert will help prove that the county, city, or state was liable for your accident.
Life care planner – A life care planner will help to ensure that the compensation you receive adequately reflects the long-term expenses associated with your injury.
Economist – Helps to quantify the amount of future lost wages related to your personal injury, if you are unable to work as a result.
Finding an Expert Witness
Our Atlanta personal injury lawyer has experience using expert witnesses. Upon reviewing your personal injury claim, we may suggest utilizing an expert to provide an opinion or testimony to strengthen your case. If an expert is necessary, our attorneys will retain their services and obtain a written report to use to strengthen your case.
If you have questions about how using expert witnesses can strengthen your personal injury claim, contact CAEJ Law, P.C. today.