The Value of Witnesses and Experts in Your Car Accident Case

 

If you have been in a serious car accident and have substantial injuries, you obviously want to obtain the maximum amount of compensation in your settlement or verdict. How do you do this?

One of the major ways is to have top-notch witnesses and experts to testify in your car accident case.

First, let’s delve into what expert witnesses are and why they are important to your case.

Who Is An Expert Witness?

This is a professional who is highly knowledgeable based upon her experience and education in a field related to your case. Some of the expert witnesses that are critical in car accident cases are physicians, accident-reconstruction professionals, structural engineers and financial analysts or economists.

Do I Need an Expert Witness?

Not all car accident cases require an expert witness. Also, you may not need every kind of expert witness for your car accident case. For instance, if the cause of the accident was clear, such as a rear-end crash that broke your leg, you probably do not need an expert to reconstruct the accident. But your case could benefit from having an expert doctor testify about how your injury prevents you from enjoying your hobbies.

Can I Afford an Expert Witness?

Your personal injury lawyer should talk to you about how the expert will be compensated. In some car accident cases, your attorney may front the cost of the witness. He or she will be reimbursed later, after the settlement or verdict.

Will I Get More Money If I Use an Expert Witness?

That is the reason personal injury attorneys use expert witnesses. They increase the likelihood of winning at trial, and they also can increase the leverage that you have in settlement negotiations. If your attorney does not think you will get a larger recovery by the use of an expert, then one should not be called for your case.

Deciding whether you need an expert witness for your case is critical. You and your attorney should review the case thoroughly and decide together whether expert witnesses will benefit you in terms of compensation in the end.

Who Is a Witness?

If you are in a car accident, it is important to obtain the contact information and names of any witnesses to the crash. In a close lawsuit, you could need good witnesses to prove the accident happened as you claim.

Witnesses to car accidents are important, because the insurance companies involved are going to think that the plaintiff and defendant are biased. Each has a stake in the outcome of the case. The plaintiff is suing for money, and the defendant does not want to pay.

But it is generally true that neutral witnesses have no stake in your case outcome. To the jury or insurance company, neutral witnesses are viewed as those who were just in the area when the accident happened. In theory, neutral witnesses have no stake in the outcome, so the jury will often believe witnesses if they seem to be credible.

Definition of Credibility

Credibility means trustworthiness or believability. If the testimony of the witness convinces you that they are trustworthy, then you may have a credible witness. The credibility of your witness can be as important as their testimony. If the jury does not believe the witness, then the testimony is of little value. Some of the factors that influence credibility are:

·       Whether the testimony is consistent with what the witness said before

·       Whether the witness heard or saw the events of the crash directly

·       Whether the person has a firm recollection of the accident events

·       Whether the person seems to be truthful or evasive and lying

·       The demeanor and attitude of the witness during the trial.

 

In the end, expert and regular witness testimony can make all the difference between winning and losing at trial ... and the difference between a large or small settlement with the insurance company. 

 

From the Author: How do you do this?

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