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Expert Witness

Expert Witness

An expert witness is someone with specialized knowledge, training, or experience in a specific subject or field. Expert witnesses are only permitted in specific situations. Rule 702 of the Texas Rules of Evidence permits testimony by expert witnesses when the expert’s testimony or opinion can help the trier of fact:

  • Understand evidence; OR,
  • Determine a fact in issue.

In other words, there must be facts in dispute that an expert witness can help clarify by providing relevant technical, scientific, or other specialized knowledge. Expert witnesses can provide testimony that supports the party’s allegations, but they can also help refute the evidence presented by the other party.

It is up to the party whether they want to introduce expert testimony. However, an expert report is required in most medical malpractice claims according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.351.

Should I Use Expert Witnesses in My Personal Injury Case?

Should I Use Expert Witnesses in My Personal Injury Case?

Because each case is unique, your personal injury case might not require the use of expert witnesses. However, expert witness testimony is often used in personal injury claims. Jurors might give more weight to expert testimony because the person has specialized knowledge of a subject.

Furthermore, expert witnesses do not have a stake in the outcome of the case, unlike the parties who testify. That said, jurors might consider that the expert witness is paid by the party to appear in court. Ultimately, it is up to the jurors to decide how much weight to give to expert testimony in a personal injury case.

Expert witnesses can testify to a variety of topics, such as:

  • The severity of a person’s injuries
  • The cause of an accident or injury
  • Expectations for recovery when someone sustains the same type of injury
  • The cost of future medical treatment, nursing care, and skilled care
  • How a party’s conduct contributed to the cause of the injury
  • The value of future lost wages and diminished earning potential

An experienced Austin personal injury lawyer assesses your case to determine whether expert testimony would be beneficial. Our law firm, for example, has resources for hiring experts and works with experts in various fields.

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Examples of Expert Witnesses in a Personal Injury Case

The type of expert testimony you need depends on the issues disputed in your case. Experts in numerous fields can help you prove the facts of your case, including but not limited to:

Accident Reconstructionists

It can be challenging to determine how a traffic accident occurred and who is responsible for causing the crash. Accident reconstructionists use evidence from the case and scientific methods to recreate the collision. Recreating the crash can help the expert identify causation and fault.

Medical Specialists

Medical experts explain how injuries occur, the severity of injuries, and how injuries impact a person’s life. A medical expert can also testify about the prognosis regarding permanent impairments and disabilities.

Medical specialists include physicians, therapists, surgeons, and other medical professionals. Fields of specialty can include oncology, neurology, pain management, orthopedics, and rehabilitation.

Financial Experts and Vocational Experts

Economists and financial professionals often testify about future economic damages. For example, how much a person is expected to lose in future wages and earning capacity because of an injury. They may also testify about the anticipated cost of ongoing medical and personal care.

Vocational experts also help provide evidence for future damages. For example, they provide information about job availability, the job market, and anticipated wages. A vocational expert might also testify about the types of jobs the victim might be able to perform based on their prognosis.

Other Types of Expert Witnesses

There are many different expert witnesses. Personal injury cases involve all types of accidents and incidents that cause injuries. The circumstances and issues involved in the case dictate the types of expert witnesses an attorney might hire.

Examples of other expert witnesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Commercial truck specialist
  • First responders
  • Life care planners
  • Medical toxicologists
  • Pain management specialists
  • Transportation safety expert
  • Electronic records experts
  • Manufacturing experts
  • Road maintenance and design specialists
  • Mental health experts
  • Forensic specialists

An experienced Austin personal injury attorney understands the types of experts needed to increase the strength of a case. They also have the resources to hire experts to assist in your case. Winning your case could hinge on whether you have expert testimony to support your allegations of negligence and damages.

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Call Us to Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

We utilize various tools and resources to build strong cases for our clients, including working with expert witnesses. Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Austin personal injury attorney at (512) 982-9328 to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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