What is the Role of “Experts” in Personal Injury Cases?
Experts play a pivotal role in many types of court cases, including personal injury cases. But people outside the legal profession often have a misunderstanding of what experts do. There’s a common misconception that experts are hired guns, taking the stand to say whatever an attorney has hired them to say. This is far from the truth and, if it were true, such testimony would not be helpful.
In our practice we use experts to help us prove elements of the case, such as causation and damages. The type of experts we use include:
- Accident reconstruction — These forensic investigators examine accident scenes, physical evidence and eyewitness statements. They apply physics and engineering principles to pinpoint contributing factors, such as human error, mechanical failure, road conditions and weather, to determine what caused an accident and who was at fault.
- Surgical — In malpractice cases, we consult experts in surgical procedures and protocols to discover and prove negligence.
- Medical — Even if injuries are readily apparent, a jury may not understand the full medical implications. We consult medical experts to learn the full extent of a client’s injury, and the prognosis for recovery. Medical experts are especially important in cases of spinal cord or brain injuries, where the harm is not obvious or measurable through medical diagnostics.
- Financial — In cases of disabling injuries, our clients must receive compensation for their loss of earning ability. The amount of compensation we seek cannot be purely speculative, so we often consult financial experts who can estimate future losses accurately.
- Insurance — Questions sometimes arise as to whether a defendant’s insurance policy covers the incident that caused our client’s injury. We consult experts in policy interpretation to help determine coverage.
When our firm hires an expert, we seek someone who has the proper qualifications and can make a credible witness. We want the expert’s honest assessment of the case, because only an honest assessment helps us choose the right strategy for resolving the case. Naturally, we pay for these services, because highly-qualified professionals do not spend days or weeks working on a report for free.
Our access to qualified experts is one reason Brown, Novick & McKinley is able to manage highly complex injury cases. To schedule a free consultation for your New Jersey injury case, call us at 866-942-4909 or contact us online.