There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Questions.
Everyone has questions, after an accident. Why did this happen? What can be done now? What are my rights under the law? That’s when you can turn to the lawyers who can assist answer your questions. Bob Katz has posted many Frequently Asked Questions on his website. He wants Maryland and Virginia injury victims to have the facts so they can move forward with their cases, make the right decision when hiring an attorney, receive the compensation they deserve, and focus on their recovery.
The following are a selected group of questions frequently asked by injured victims seeking answers. Please note that the following materials are NOT Legal Advice or Legal Opinion – All materials provided herein are prepared for a general audience for general informational purposes only. Their sole purpose is to better educate you about a variety of general legal issues so that you become more educated consumers of legal services. Information provided on the Sites should never be a substitute for consulting with a lawyer. Please contact us directly for advice on your specific situation.
- Who is Responsible? (How Did the Injury Occur?)
- Too Many Variables
The Role of Experts in Personal Injury CasesGenerally, there are two types of witnesses that may be involved with an accident case:
- Eyewitnesses who were present at the scene of the incident and have personal knowledge of what they saw or heard; and,
- Expert witnesses who may be hired by your attorney to assist with matters of proof.
Consulting Experts:A consulting expert is often described as an extension of the law firm, assisting lawyers with developing trial strategy, reviewing documents, and providing other advice. Attorneys have education and experience in legal matters, but may require support when it comes to medical, technical, financial, and other topics.
Testifying Experts:This specialist will actually be called by your attorney as a witness at trial, to help explain complicated subjects in language that the jury or judge understand.
Accident Reconstruction SpecialistsWhen there is a degree of speculation involving fault in the incident that caused your injuries, your lawyer may utilize an accident reconstruction specialist. These experts typically have backgrounds in physics and other fields that enable them to assess the science behind accidents. By using their own knowledge and the assistance of technology, accident reconstruction experts can establish links between actions, conditions, and fault. An accident reconstruction specialist is especially useful considering the chaos and confusion that usually surround accidents. Drivers, passengers, and witnesses may not have a clear recollection of what happened or they may provide conflicting accounts of what they experienced. Alternatively, as in the case of the woman killed in the College Park accident, the primary witness may be unavailable.
Other Types of ExpertsIn addition to accident reconstruction experts, your attorney may also retain the services of other specialists, including:
Physicians and Medical Experts:One of the most common types of experts in a personal injury case is a doctor, usually a specialist in a certain medical field. A physician may participate in your case to review your injuries and treatment, which is especially useful when your lawyer must establish proof for non-economic damages. It is hard to put a dollar value on pain and suffering, or quality of life; a doctor can use the information in your medical records, including details on procedures, surgeries, and prescriptions, to support your claim for these types of losses.
Mental Health Experts:When your injuries have a significant emotional impact on your life, your attorney may use a mental health expert. These specialists can act as a consulting expert or testifying witness just as other physicians; however, the focus would be on how the accident and your injuries have resulted in emotional distress.
Actuaries and Financial Specialists:Part of your claim in a personal injury matter may involve lost income if you are unable to work for health reasons. Proving your lost wages is not difficult in certain cases, such as when you are out of work for two weeks while you recover from your injuries: Your pay stubs can be used to establish your claim. However, your professional future may also be affected by your injuries. For example, if you are unable to ever return to work in a job that requires certain physical capabilities, or you suffered a brain injury that impacts your cognitive abilities, so you cannot return to a profession that requires mental skills, these are issues to which a financial expert can testify. These experts are useful in proving loss of future income that would otherwise be speculative and difficult to measure. Your amount of compensation will be higher when you can prove what you would have earned in wages had the accident never occurred.