During a car accident trial, one of the first things the defense will often try to do is discredit the victim. They will try and say that you are not injured, or that the extent of your injuries has been exaggerated, and that is where expert witnesses come in. Expert witnesses in Aurora car accident cases can testify to the extent of your injuries, explain what your injuries are, and how they have impacted/could impact your life, in order to paint a clearer picture for the jury. If you have been injured in a car accident, work with a well-connected car accident lawyer that can retain the services of a reputable expert witness that can help bolster your claim.
Qualifications an Expert Witness Must Have
For an expert to be qualified, they have to either have sufficient education, training, or experience. What that means is they have to have some type of scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will be beneficial to the jury in understanding the evidence so expert witnesses in a lot of motor vehicle cases are medical doctors. Through their training and experience, they are able to explain how certain injuries happened to different body parts and they explain a lot more than the plaintiff sitting on the stand.
Reasons Why Someone Might Not Want an Expert Witness
The biggest reason that people do not want to work with expert witnesses in Aurora car accident cases is, a lot of plaintiffs’ attorneys run into are what is referred to as the minor impact soft-tissue cases where a plaintiff’s medical damages are not significant. In those instances, the expert costs a lot of money but the outcome is not always worth it.
Individuals can use the testimony of the medical providers and not have to pay to retain, say, an independent medical doctor who is going to charge $2,000, $3,000, or $5,000 to just give their opinion. Furthermore, with an expert witness, the plaintiff and their team still have to secure the witness through a trial and take in another $5,000 to $10,000 in those costs.
Usually, within a case, plaintiffs have to file what is called an expert disclose where they list out any experts that they anticipate calling at trial or could possibly call at trial, and that is usually due 126 days before trial. At that point, you are at a major breakpoint where they need to decide whether hiring someone is worth it or not. A skilled attorney can help an individual decide whether expert witnesses are worth it or not.
Filing for Expert Witnesses Ahead of the Trial
When using expert witnesses in Aurora car accident cases, people often have to file 126 days ahead of the trial, in order to give the defense time to research the witness. In doing so, the plaintiff is trying to avoid what the court and the defense and a lot of plaintiffs call a trial by ambush. A trial by ambush is when they someone tries to add new material witnesses at the last minute. There is a schedule once you have a trial date. The plaintiff’s experts are due 126 days before. Defendant experts are due 98 days before trial. If the plaintiff retains somebody and discloses those people, the defendants have 28 days to find an expert witness in a similar field who can look at the same documents and render a different opinion if they think that it is going to add a benefit to their case.
Then once the defendants disclose their experts, then the plaintiff is given 77 days before trial to disclose any rebuttal experts to counter the defendant’s experts, and usually that is going to be the same retained expert as the plaintiff initially has but sometimes the plaintiff may decide, given the medical expenses and the anticipated recovery, it is not proper to have an independent medical examination at this point.
But then the defense does one and then the plaintiff almost inevitably has to have an expert do a medical examination to rebut the testimony the defense is going to present because you do not want the defense having the only retained expert and the only one up there testifying because they are inevitably going to say, the plaintiff was not injured, and so it is important to have a witness that can refute the defense’s narrative.
Consulting an Aurora Car Accident Attorney
The main thing that people should know is that expert witnesses in Aurora car accident cases are beneficial because their testimony is given a lot more weight. Working with an expert witness gives you and your attorney the opportunity to validate your claim, and attempt to establish the negligent party’s liability. If you have been injured in a car accident, work with an experienced and well-connected personal injury lawyer that can attempt to retain the services of a reputable expert witness.