Why Do I Need an Expert in My Personal Injury Case?

By Peter DePaolis

You might wonder why you need an expert in your personal injury case if you have a strong case against the person who harmed you. There can be several reasons why the judge or jury might need the help of an expert witness to explain things that a layperson might not know. If there is some aspect of the personal injury claim that most people would not understand because of everyday experience or common knowledge, courts in the District of Columbia (DC) might require an expert witness.

A DC personal injury attorney can evaluate your negligence claim and answer your questions, such as, Why do I need an expert in my personal injury case?

Some Common Reasons Personal Injury Lawyers Use Expert Witnesses to Help Prove Their Cases

When a personal injury claim does not get resolved by a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company, it might be because there are disputes about the facts. The defendant might: 

  • Deny that he did anything negligent.
  • Accuse the injured party (plaintiff) of causing the accident.
  • Admit to carelessness but deny that his mistakes caused harm to the plaintiff.
  • Dispute that the accident caused the extent or severity of injury the plaintiff alleges.
  • Question whether the plaintiff developed an impairment from the injuries.

These are but a few examples of situations in which the testimony of an expert could provide valuable information for the jury.

How Could an Accident Reconstruction Expert Help Clarify Disputed Facts?

Many people try to lie their way out of liability for the harm they caused when they injured someone. You might not have perfect video footage of the entire sequence of events, but in a traffic accident, an accident reconstruction expert could use math and science to establish these facts:

  • Speed of the vehicles
  • Whether a particular vehicle tried to stop
  • Where the collision occurred 
  • Whether a driver ran a red light, tailgated, or did some other careless act
  • What caused the crash

There are many other things an expert in accident reconstruction could prove to the court what really happened.

Why Might I Need an Expert in a Products Liability Case?

Products liability lawsuits often use engineers and experts in other professions to show the court that there was a design defect or some other failure in the object that hurt the plaintiff. Without the expert’s specialized knowledge, the jury might not know what the defect was or how the flaw created a dangerous situation.

How Could a Medical Expert Help in Personal Injury Claims?

The defendant might accuse the plaintiff of getting hurt from some other cause or trying to make the defendant pay money for a previous injury. Also, the defendant might claim that the accident could not have caused the kind of wounds the plaintiff suffered. A medical expert can present objective evidence and answer the questions the jury might have.

Do I Have to Pay for the Expert Witness?

Yes, you will need to pay the litigation costs for your side of the case, which can include the fees for your expert witness, but only if you win. Personal injury attorneys handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay your attorney fees or expenses until the end of the case, and then, those costs come out of the settlement proceeds or jury award.

A DC personal injury attorney can fight hard for you to get the compensation you deserve if someone else caused the accident or circumstances that harmed you. Get in touch with our office for a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.