How are Experts Used in Personal Injury Cases?
Experts Help Parties Prove the Elements of Their Cases
In a personal injury lawsuit, the person suing (called the “plaintiff”) has the burden of proving to a jury that the party being sued (called the “defendant”) engaged in some type of wrongful conduct. Additionally, a plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered injuries which were caused by the defendant’s misconduct, and that the medical care he or she received, and claims will be needed in the future, is reasonable.
Often times, it is necessary to have expert witnesses with special knowledge, skill, experience, training and education testify about these matters, when they are beyond common experience. Commonly used are experts in the fields of: accident reconstruction, biomechanical engineering, human factors, product design and manufacturing, safety, and various types of medical specialties.
The Los Angeles accident lawyers at The Rudman Law Firm, APC, practice solely in the area of personal injury and wrongful death. We have more than 60+ years of combined experience using expert consultants and witnesses to help prove our cases. We take pride in finding the most proficient, knowledgeable and experienced experts in the fields that pertain to the cases we handle. From our offices in Los Angeles and Studio City, we put those experts to work on the cases where their analysis and testimony are necessary to achieving full and fair compensation for our clients.
Liability and Damages Experts
Different experts are used for different issues in a particular case. Some experts are used to perform an analysis and give an opinion regarding issues related to how an accident occurred, or which relate to whether a party acted within a standard of care. These are called liability experts. Other experts are used to prove that a person suffered a certain type of injury, that the injury was caused by the accident, and what medical treatment and expenses are reasonable and necessary. These are called damages experts.
- Liability Experts
- Car Accident cases.Accident reconstruction experts, usually mechanical engineers, can be used when the facts of a car crash are in dispute. These experts evaluate physical evidence, such as the vehicle damage, skid marks, debris, and vehicle data recorder information, and apply accepted physical principles to ascertain how a vehicle collision occurred. Human factors experts can also be used to give opinions regarding how people behave physically in relation to particular environments, such as in reaction to a perceived danger leading to a car wreck.
- Product Liability cases.Experts in product design and engineering, or in the creation of warnings or warning labels, can be useful in a product liability case to help prove that a product’s design or manufacture was inherently dangerous or that warnings were inadequate.
- Premises LiabilityorDangerous Condition of Public Property cases. Safety and construction engineers are useful in these types of cases as they can inspect and evaluate a condition on a property to see if it complies with building, or health and safety, codes. These types of experts can also give opinions on whether certain conditions on a property meet industry safety standards.
- Damages Experts
- Injuries and Medical Care.In personal injury cases it is necessary to have medical experts testify about injuries, the plaintiff’s diagnosis, prognosis, the reasonableness and necessity of the medical care the plaintiff has received, and is reasonably expected to need in the future. Experts are also needed to testify regarding the reasonable cost of the medical care.
- Causation of Injuries.When there is a dispute as to whether the accident is what caused particular injuries being claimed by a plaintiff, in addition to medical experts, often times a biomechanical or biomedical engineer will be useful in testifying about the mechanical laws relating to the movement of the human anatomy and whether the accident at issue could have created the movements necessary to cause the injury claimed.
The Cost of Experts
The use of experts can be quite costly. These costs may not be justified in every case. The potential value of the case will be a large determinant as to whether the use of an expert is a cost effective strategy in seeking fair compensation for a client. In those cases where the cost is justified, we advance the costs to pay the experts, and only recoup those costs if and when we recover compensation on your behalf.
The Rudman Law Firm, APC Will Use Experts When it is Right for Your Case
For experienced and skilled accident attorneys who know which experts to use and when to use them in your personal injury case, call our Los Angeles office (213) 375-3777, our Studio City office at (818) 769-6969, or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN for a free phone consultation.