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Two Pershing Square
2300 Main Street, Suite 170
Kansas City, MO 64108
At the scene of a car accident and, quite frankly, even days or weeks later, you and the other driver(s) involved may not view the accident in the same way. Who was at fault? How did the accident happen? One of the ways a personal injury lawyer may help resolve these questions is by retaining expert witnesses. Experts are typically sought to help determine two major aspects of a car accident: fault and damages.
Expert witnesses provide in-depth information and analysis based on their experience in a specific field or profession. Their knowledge and skill generally help settle disputes. They also assist attorneys in better understanding the circumstances around the accident, so it is critical to retain the right experts.
Accident reconstruction experts can help determine liability by recreating the scene and explaining what happened. They are experienced in rebuilding the chain of events that led up to the accident and their investigation can show a link between the accident and injuries sustained. They are specially trained in the physics, math, and science involved in motor vehicle accidents.
Reconstruction experts may use models, computer programs, and other devices to determine the cause of an accident and things such as:
An Economist may be another expert needed, someone who can explain how the injuries suffered have impacted you financially to date and how they may continue to impact you going forward. You want to make sure lost earnings capacity is covered in your claim and an economist’s testimony can cover topics such as a reduced ability to do your job and the lost earnings due to your injury.
A Life Care Planner may explain your disability status and how this will impact your future medical care expenses. This might include providing testimony on disability management and the valuation of an individual’s future care expenses as well as an individual’s earning capacity, their reduced ability to perform the job, the severity of the disability, life expectancy, and related topics.
Vocational Rehabilitation Experts can testify to the type of work you could do before the accident and after. Testimony might cover physical and mental limitations that might limit your ability to do certain types of work, whether there are other types of work that can be done with post-injury limitations or the effect of your injuries to do any type of work. A vocational rehab specialist can help prove your reduced earning capacity, possibly showing that had you not been injured you would have had a greater lifetime earning capacity.
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Your attorney must prove your injuries were caused by the negligence of another so it is their job to determine if and what expert witnesses will be needed to support your case.
Often, the judge or jury needs someone to help explain complicated areas and expert witnesses may be brought in to do this. They can:
This post offers just a sampling of the types of expert witnesses your attorney might retain in a car accident personal injury claim.
Keep in mind both the plaintiff (you) and the defendant will use their own expert witnesses to explain complicated elements to the judge and jury.
When you have been seriously injured in an accident due to another’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who will collect all the facts about the incident, assess your injuries and answer your questions.
One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.
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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published November 7, 2021. It was reviewed on July 21, 2023 and updated for content and accuracy.