Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of life. As confident as you are that the other driver was at fault, it may not be easy to prove. That’s why your Los Angeles accident lawyer may have to hire expert witnesses to help with your case.
Proving fault and proving damages sometimes requires a team of skilled professionals with specialized knowledge. Here, we’ll discuss the various types of experts your attorney may hire to help win your car accident case.
Why Would Your Los Angeles Accident Lawyer Need to Hire an Expert Witness?
In some car accident cases, the facts are rather straightforward and the evidence clearly shows who is at fault. Unfortunately, not every case is like that. There are times when your Los Angeles accident lawyer needs to rely on experts to help prove who was primarily responsible for the crash.
Some of the reasons your attorney may call on an expert witness include:
- The vehicles were destroyed and it’s impossible to determine what happened.
- There were no eyewitnesses to testify to the fact that the other driver was at fault.
- Both drivers were partly at fault, but you must show who was primarily liable.
- You suffered extensive injuries and need to prove future medical bills.
- Your attorney needs to demonstrate how much future income you’ll lose.
Every case is different so there’s no way to know for sure if you’ll need expert witnesses upfront. When the time comes, your Los Angeles accident lawyer will consult with you on whether to retain the experts.
What Does California Law Say About Expert Witnesses in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
According to California Statute §2034.210, expert witnesses are allowed to testify in civil cases. As long as your attorney can qualify them as an expert, they can testify on your behalf.
How Can Your Lawyer Demonstrate That a Witness Is an Expert?
Before your Los Angeles accident lawyer can present an expert witness, they need to prove that the witness is qualified to testify. According to California’s Evidence Code §720, there are special rules that apply to using an expert witness in a civil case:
- Your attorney must show that the expert witness has specialized skills, education, training, and knowledge in their area of expertise.
- If the defendant’s attorney objects to their testifying, your Los Angeles accident lawyer can submit proof that they are, in fact, an expert.
- The expert can offer oral testimony, or they can testify by submitting reports, publications, or any other documentation or physical evidence.
- The expert’s testimony must help the judge or jury understand the evidence or data being used to support your claims against the defendant.
As you can see, not just anyone can testify as an expert. At the same time, an expert doesn’t have to be a doctor, engineer, or scientist. As long as they are an expert in their field, that should suffice.
What Expert Witnesses Do Car Accident Lawyers Hire?
There are certain types of experts that tend to testify in car accident cases. One of the most common types of experts is an accident reconstructionist. This is an individual who can analyze the evidence from the scene of the crash and provide a detailed report that can be used in court.
In addition, your Los Angeles injury lawyer may hire a medical expert. This type of expert testify about the injuries you sustained in the accident. This includes both the medical treatment you’ve already received as well as any future care you may need. They can also testify as to how these injuries have affected your life.
Depending on your damages, your Los Angeles accident lawyer may also hire a financial expert to testify about the economic impact the accident had on your life. Some of the types of economic damages you may be entitled to include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
How Expensive Will It Be to Hire Expert Witnesses?
Generally, experts can range in cost from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It really depends on the complexity of your case and the type of expertise required.
For example, if you need an accident reconstructionist to determine how a car crash happened, that could be fairly expensive. On the other hand, if you need a medical doctor to review your medical records and testify about your injuries, that might not be as expensive.
It’s important to remember that even though expert witnesses can be expensive, they can often make or break a car accident case.
Call an Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Today!
If you’ve been in a car accident and decide to sue the other driver, you may need expert witnesses to prove your case. Chances are, you have no idea what kind of experts you need and wouldn’t know where to find them if you did.
Los Angeles accident lawyer can take care of arranging to hire expert witnesses as well the other complicated legal details of your case. This frees you up to focus on recovering from your injuries. Call our office at (818) 960-6155 and schedule your free, initial consultation.