Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

A North Carolina personal injury attorney will use different items to prove a personal injury lawsuit. They may use medical records, police reports, photos, and witness statements. Depending on the circumstances of the case, an attorney may also use the testimony of expert witnesses to prove the defendant’s fault and liability and/or the victim’s losses. In some cases, expert witness testimony may be critical to prove that negligence or injury impact on the victim’s life.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn can evaluate your case to see what type of compensation you may be eligible for. Our personal attorneys often use expert witnesses for our client’s lawsuits and have been able to obtain the damages they deserved.

What Makes Someone an Expert Witness?

In order to be classified as an expert witness, North Carolina law requires that the witness has the knowledge, the training, and the experience to offer a testimony based on facts. The expert witness must also provide testimony based on reliable methods and principals and that those methods and principals have been applied to the facts of the case.

Before testifying, the expert witness should examine all of the evidence and perform any necessary tests before they form their opinion or conclusion about an issue of fact in the injury case. They should also be able to share with the judge and jury how they reached their conclusion.

What Is the Difference Between Regular Witnesses and Expert Witnesses?

A regular witness, also referred to as a fact witness, is someone who has personal knowledge of the accident or circumstances leading up to the accident. A witness may have some type of first-hand knowledge, seen or heard something that pertains to the incident and can help verify the victim’s claim that the defendant is liable for the accident.

An expert witness is someone who does not have first-hand knowledge or was present at the incident, but instead has special training, knowledge, and experience that allows them to form an opinion of how or why the accident occurred or how extensive the victim’s injuries has and will affect their life. Expert witnesses are typically only used in cases where the parties are contesting the facts of the case or a certain aspect of the case. Some of the different types of expert witness an attorney may call to testify includes the following:

  • Accident Reconstruction Experts: Accident reconstruction experts have the training and experience to reconstruct exactly how an accident occurred. Some of the tools they may use are drawings and computer programs.
  •  Economics Experts: Economics experts are often called to testify to explain how an injury has impacted the financial situation of a victim and how it may impact them in the future.
  • Engineering Experts: Engineering experts may describe how a location’s design contributed to an accident. They may be used in vehicle accident or premises liability cases.
  • Manufacturing Experts: If the injury was caused by a defective product or part, a Virginia injury attorney may call a manufacturing expert to testify. For example, they may testify that a defective tire led to a car crash.
  • Medical Experts: Medical experts often testify about the victim's injuries, treatment options, and recovery. They also may testify as to how an injury may affect a victim in the long-term or if the injury will leave permanent damage.
  •  Mental Health Experts: Mental health experts are often called to testify to explain how an accident may have affected the mental and emotional well-being of the victim. This information can be used to calculate financial compensation for damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Contact Our Office Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, contact a North Carolina personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn. Our firm has aggressively advocated for victims and their families for more than three decades and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

It is critical to remember that North Carolina has placed a statute of limitation on how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for your injuries.

Contact our office today at 800-752-0042 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Carolinas accident attorneys.

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Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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