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What is the Role of an Expert Witness in a Personal Injury Case?

The Role of Experts in Personal Injury Cases

Generally, 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.


An expert witness is a unique participant in the trial process because he or she did not actually “witness” anything related to the accident. Instead, these individuals help prove different elements of your case because they bring specialized knowledge to the table. Typically, they offer their services to support your attorney’s trial preparations as:

  • 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.

At times, a single individual may serve as both a consulting and testifying expert witness. Depending on the details of your case, there may be multiple experts involved – covering a number of different topics.

Accident Reconstruction Specialists

When 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 Experts

In 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.

Depending on the complexity of the evidence involved in your personal injury case, it is possible that your attorney will call upon one or more of these types of expert witnesses to assist. These specialists have meticulous skills in their respective areas of expertise, and they are able to take complicated subject matter and turn it into concepts that average people like those who may serve on a jury can comprehend. Of course, you can expect that the responsible party or insurance company will also retain experts to contest your allegations. For this reason, it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who has extensive experience utilizing experts, whether for consultation or to testify in court.

If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in Maryland, Washington D.C. or Virginia, please contact the Baltimore headquarters office Bob Katz Law. Our lawyers have access to a wide range of experts in different fields, and we retain these individuals as necessary to prosecute personal injury claims on behalf of our clients. We are happy to answer your questions or schedule an assessment to review the details of your case.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Location: Tysons

Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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