Quite often a successful plaintiff’s case will hinge upon the testimony
of experts. In fact, some types of cases, such as
medical malpractice suits, require the testimony of experts in order to inform the jury of
the correct standard of care. In addition to medical malpractice, personal
injury cases may require the testimony of experts. Products liability
car accident litigation, cases founded in corporate responsibility, and even general
negligence litigation may also require experts to testify before a jury.
Experienced Kingston personal injury attorneys know when expert testimony is required, when such testimony can significantly
boost your case, and when expert testimony is simply not necessary. Experienced
plaintiff’s attorneys also know how the defense will try to derail
the testimony of an expert, and even when the defense is likely to present
conflicting testimony from their own expert.
In all of the types of cases that we mentioned above, the litigation will
involve injuries that happened to a person’s physical self, as opposed
to injury to property; of course a single case may involve both issues.
Medical experts are used in many different types of litigation in order to explain the
injury in general, the pain associated with the injury, the types of remedial
care required, and even to prove the standard of care that was due to
Medical expert testimony also involves the testimony from professionals
charged with physical rehabilitation. They may not be doctors, however.
So we are referring to therapists, social workers, vocational trainers,
and the like. These types of professionals will explain what a plaintiff
went through after the accident in the attempt to regain physical abilities
lost. They will also inform the jury as to cognitive functioning that
was lost or in need of repair. Moreover, they will help the jury understand
how the plaintiff can no longer perform the work they once did; and even
the need to retrain the plaintiff in a new profession.
Since many negligence cases arise out of
motor vehicle accidents, there are experts that will reconstruct the accident in order to show
the jury what happened. This is a scientific approach that brings the
accident to life without relying on the memory of witnesses. For example,
if the plaintiff has experienced memory loss due to a brain injury, the
accident reconstructionist will use physical evidence gathered at the
accident scene to explain how the accident occurred.
Engineering experts will advise a jury on manufacturing processes and product
design protocols. This will teach the jury about industry standards in
order to show how a defendant deviated from that standard.
Brain injuries, referenced above, are especially difficult for victims to overcome. Many
different professionals will assist the victim during rehabilitation.
Since so many professionals are involved in this process, a life care
planning expert can testify as to the total impact the injury has had,
and will have, on the plaintiff. These experts can explain how each part
of the body works and how certain injuries will affect specific parts
of the body; sometimes it can be shown that there was one and only one
way the plaintiff could have received his or her injury, making it clear
that the defendant is liable.
Of course since civil litigation involves quantifying a plaintiff’s
injuries in monetary terms, an economic expert will be needed to prove
the income lost by the plaintiff, the cost of past and future medical
care, lost pension contributions, with interest and inflation accounted
for in the analysis.
While doctors, social workers, economists, engineers, and the like may
be required in general, other experts may be specific to a case based
on a plaintiff’s unique circumstances. Forensic meteorologists,
for example, will be used by sophisticated and experienced personal injury
attorneys when the weather itself is a point in contention.
Both car accidents and
slip and fall accidents, often involve inclement weather conditions and how a property owner or
motorist failed to take reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent
the type of accident that ended up occurring. Meteorologists will inform
the jury on when a storm ended, on how ice accumulation and refreezing
occurs depending on temperature variations as well as light conditions,
among many other things.
The types of injuries that occur in
motor vehicle collisions and slip and fall accidents are infinite. Understanding how the body works
and how blunt force or sharp force impacts upon the body influence trauma
may require the testimony of a biomechanical expert. Such an expert, and
when to use him/her, will be familiar ground for the experienced personal attorney.