The Role of Expert Witnesses in Your San Antonio Personal Injury Case
What is a Personal Injury Case?
In a personal injury case, someone is suing for damages caused by another party’s negligence. Whether you’re in an accident with an 18-wheeler or your neighbor’s dog bites you, personal injury cases involve determining liability and proving injury. If the other party is found liable, you could be entitled to financial compensation to avoid paying out-of-pocket.
What is An Expert Witness?
An expert witness is an individual who is an expert in their field. Their knowledge and experience make them uniquely qualified to speak on a specific matter. When trying to prove your personal injury case, you can’t rely on the opinion or perspective of just anyone. Medical experts, mental health experts, economic experts, and others offer insight and wisdom that can’t be found elsewhere, making them essential to your case.
Medical experts like physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and other healthcare specialists offer critical insight into the nature and extent of injuries. Their assessment, diagnosis, and records are invaluable in a personal injury case.
A medical expert might testify to specific injuries, treatment plans, recovery options, future medical care, etc. The testifying medical expert is typically not the victim’s primary care provider. Ideally, they are a credible, well-respected doctor who stepped in to examine the patient after the case began.
Mental Health Expert
If the injured party suffers mental and emotional distress, a mental health professional can provide expert testimony to support these claims. “Loss of enjoyment of life,” “pain and suffering,” and “loss of normal functions” claims can all be explained and confirmed by a mental health professional like a therapist, counselor, or psychologist.
A mental health professional might offer expert insight on the following:
- What is PTSD, and how does it affect the victim?
- How has the victim’s quality of life changed since the accident?
- How does the emotional trauma of a disability affect someone?
- How does the injury affect the victim’s short or long-term psyche?
Accident Reconstruction Experts
Reconstructing or recreating accidents can help make sense of something that happened in a split second by breaking it down into an understandable sequence. People who specialize in reconstructing accidents are immensely valuable because they offer an unbiased third-party perspective on what happened based on physics and facts.
Accident reconstruction experts can create illustrations, 3-D models, or computer renderings that clearly show how an accident unfolded. Presenting any of these expertly-crafted displays is far more effective than asking people to simply imagine what happened.
If you’re trying to prove your injury affected your ability to earn money, live a comfortable life, or cover your expenses, you might need an economic expert. Again, you don’t want to rely on your own opinion or the testimony of someone less than an expert to prove your point.
Having an economic expert testify can boost your personal injury claim because they have the knowledge and experience to back up statements about lost wages and future earning capacity.
Why Expert Witnesses are Essential
Without expert witnesses, your personal injury case could come down to you-said/they-said. But the opinions and perspectives of the people involved aren’t usually the most compelling–or credible. That’s because each party is understandably biased in their own favor.
An expert witness lends a priceless perspective for two reasons: They are unbiased and an expert in their field. Adding expert witnesses is one of your best options if you’re looking to bolster your personal injury case. If you don’t know where to start, a personal injury attorney can help.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
In a personal injury case, “damages” refers to financial compensation owed to the injured party. After an accident, there can be many expenses and factors that entitle someone to compensation. The payout amount depends on the nature and extent of their injuries and whether they had any liability in the accident.
Personal injury damages can include:
- The cost of prescription medications
- The cost of your ambulance ride
- Lost wages and future estimated lost wages
- Compensation for your pain and suffering
- The cost of medical equipment or ongoing medical treatment and therapy
In a San Antonio personal injury case, a lawyer will work to determine what damages an accident victim is entitled to receive. Additionally, they will deal with insurance adjusters and defendants to negotiate a fair settlement or take the case to court.
Expert Witnesses: How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you need to get expert witnesses involved in your case, a San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help. At Thompson Law, we know the importance of field experts and how they can make or break a case.
A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
San Antonio Personal Injury Case FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is negligence?
Negligence means that another person’s actions or inaction caused the accident that led to your injuries. Negligence spans a broad spectrum of behavior, including drunk driving, failure to make premises reasonably safe, failure to keep a dog on a leash, failure to properly secure an 18-wheeler’s load, and countless other instances.
Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?
Yes. An attorney specializing in personal injury will help you gather compelling evidence and clear documentation to prove you deserve compensation after your accident. This involves investigating your case, proving negligence, calculating damages, and negotiating a fair settlement.
What are some common causes of car accidents in San Antonio?
Common causes of car accidents in Texas include drunk driving, texting or talking while driving, speeding, tailgating, and aggressive driving or road rage. While drivers are often tempted to multitask, even a few seconds of distraction can cause a severe or even fatal crash.
How can a personal injury attorney help?
A personal injury attorney can handle the complex process of a personal injury lawsuit while you focus on relief and recovery. Your lawyer will investigate your accident, talk to the insurance company, negotiate a fair settlement, and estimate your damages. Sometimes, your lawyer will take your case to court and involve expert witnesses to bolster your case.
Who determines fault in a Texas accident?
Deciding fault might look different in each case. Liability depends on the unique details of your accident and whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Law enforcement and insurance adjusters make specific judgment calls regarding fault, but if you sue for personal injury, the courts will ultimately decide.