How And Why Are Experts Used In Personal Injury Cases?
Let’s say you have a personal injury case that involves some sort of specialized knowledge to prove the defendant did something wrong. This often happens in products liability cases—say, for example, you are injured by a defective airbag. Who will testify how airbags work, and why and how yours didn’t work the way it was supposed to?
This is also the case in medical malpractice cases. If you want to argue that your doctor failed to act how a reasonable doctor would in the same circumstances, who will say how a doctor should have acted, or that your doctor did or didn’t do something he or she was supposed to do?
Getting Experts for Your Case
In these cases, you need an expert. An expert can be from any number of fields—in many personal injury cases, doctors are experts, because we are trying to prove the nature and extent of someone’s injury. The same goes for malpractice cases.
But experts can come from a number of fields. An expert is just that—someone who is, their background, considered to have special expertise in a given field. An expert need not have any advanced degree—in fact, an expert doesn’t necessarily have to have graduated college at all.
The expert is needed simply because your attorney can’t testify—even if your attorney researched, talked to specialists, and acquired all the knowledge in the world about a given field, the attorney is not a witness. You need a witness to provide the jury with the special information needed.
When Would Experts Be Needed?
Some typical examples where an expert may be used include:
- If someone is injured on a construction site, a construction safety expert may be needed
- In negligent security cases, experts in security and safety may be needed
- If a product doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, an engineer, or a designer of that product, may be needed to testify how the product was supposed to work, and why it didn’t
- In a nursing home case, an expert may be needed to explain to the jury what nursing home personnel are expected to do
- If you are injured on a ride in an amusement park, a designer of a ride, or someone who has expertise in operating rides safely, may need to be called
Not every expert can testify. Courts don’t want “junk science” in court. Generally, the expert must show that they came to their conclusions, based on testing methods that are accepted in the overall community, and that the expert has properly applied their findings to your specific case.
In many cases, the sides will try to exclude each others’ experts from testifying. That’s why having good, reputable experts can be very important in your case.
Call the Knoxville personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today if you were injured by a defective product, or in any kind of injury case.