Using Experts to Strengthen Your Injury Claim
Dec 28, 2018 - Personal Injury
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party, then Pennsylvania law may give you a right to sue and obtain compensation for the losses that you suffered. Before you move forward with your claims and bringing a lawsuit against the defendant for damages, however, you should probably be aware of the importance of expert witness testimony to successful litigation in many personal injury disputes.
Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we work with reliable experts who have helped us secure substantial results in the past. Our close connection with expert ensures that we are “on the same wavelength” from a case strategy standpoint, and that we can guide the expert witness to produce reliable testimony that is less likely to be undermined by opposing counsel.
Let’s take a closer look.
The Value of Expert Testimony
Expert witnesses are quite different from eyewitnesses. Unlike eyewitnesses, expert witnesses typically did not observe the accident at-issue firsthand. Expert witnesses are those who are introduced into litigation to testify as to issues and facts that are related to some “special knowledge” that they possess regarding a particular field.
For example, an auto industry engineer might be brought in to testify as to the expected tolerances for the roll cage of a vehicle (with regard to the force of impact it is capable of sustaining).
Expert witness testimony is quite valuable in the personal injury context to help establish certain standards or expectations.
If you have tripped on a stairway outside of a restaurant, for example, it would be rather difficult — and to some extent, might require “guesswork” — for the jury to determine whether the design of the stairway was reasonably safe given the circumstances, and whether it violated industry standards. A stairway safety expert could testify as to those standards and help provide a reference point by which the jury can determine whether a violation has occurred.
Further, expert witnesses can “fill in the gaps” that are left by lacking evidence. In car accident scenarios where there was no video footage, an accident reconstruction expert can be brought into the case to testify as to how the accident likely occurred (based off the existing data).
Expert Witnesses Must Be Credible
Opposing counsel will almost certainly attempt to undermine the credibility of any expert witness who provides testimony that supports your arguments. As such, it’s important that your attorney work with the expert witness to ensure that there are no conflict-of-interest issues, clear biases, qualification issues, or other problems that could rear their head during litigation. Your attorney will also work the expert to ensure that there are no inconsistencies in their statements.
Schedule a Free and Confidential Consultation With a Skilled Doylestown Injury Attorney
Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our Pennsylvania-based attorneys have represented plaintiffs in a variety of personal injury disputes, from motor vehicle accidents to slip-and-fall accidents and product defect accidents.
We are relentless litigators who are committed to thorough advocacy. Though we are skilled negotiators who are capable of securing settlements for many of our clients, we are willing and able to take a case to trial when necessary. Having developed a reputation as aggressive representatives who can successfully litigate a trial, we have additional leverage during negotiations. This approach has brought us numerous successes in the form of settlements and verdicts favorable to our clients.