Expert Witnesses in Your Semi-Truck Accident Claim
You need strong evidence to win a truck accident case. Semi-truck crashes tend to result in the worst injuries, and severe damage drives up the value of any accident claim. When more money is at stake, you can guarantee the insurance company and its attorneys will demand convincing evidence to support your case. Expert witnesses can be vital assets to turn the case in your favor.
An expert witness is a knowledgeable professional in a specific field who can provide valuable insights into how an accident occurred, the long-term effects of any accident-related injuries, and more. Depending on the complexity of your case, your attorney may call on one or more experts from different fields to testify on your behalf.
At Swenson & Shelley, we network with some of the nation’s top experts in accident reconstruction, medicine, computer forensics, and other disciplines to learn about what happened in the moments leading up to a truck crash and its long-term impact on the victim’s life. If you’ve been hurt, you can count on our truck accident lawyers to use every resource to justify your case for maximum compensation. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.
What is an Expert Witness?
In a court case, there are usually two kinds of witnesses: fact witnesses and expert witnesses.
A fact witness testifies about events they saw happen firsthand. For example, a pedestrian who witnesses a truck accident and testifies in court about what they saw is a fact witness. Importantly, fact witnesses usually cannot offer their opinions, only statements about the facts of a particular event.
An expert witness is different. Experts have specialized knowledge, training, or skills that allow them to evaluate information differently than the average person. An expert witness typically does not witness an incident personally but uses their expertise to review the evidence and provide their informed opinions as testimony to the court.
Are There Different Kinds of Expert Witnesses?
A wide range of experts may be called upon to shed light on your truck accident claim, including:
- Medical professionals – Physicians and other healthcare professionals can discuss the extent and severity of your crash injuries and the types of medical care you need, both now and in the future.
- Psychologists or psychiatrists – Mental health professionals can testify regarding the mental and emotional toll the truck accident took on your life.
- Accident reconstruction specialists – Crash reconstruction experts analyze data to create models of traffic accidents and identify contributing factors.
- Financial experts – Accountants and financial planners can demonstrate the full extent of your financial losses after a tractor-trailer accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and projected future losses.
- Vocational experts – A vocational rehabilitation expert can demonstrate the extent of any losses in your future earning capacity due to your injuries.
- Roadway design experts – Your lawyer might ask a roadway design expert to testify when highway defects or missing signage contribute to a truck accident.
- Trucking safety experts – A trucking inspector or safety investigator can determine whether a truck driver or trucking company violated safety regulations.
- Metallurgists – A metallurgist can analyze the truck’s parts to determine whether an equipment failure caused the accident.
- Mechanical engineers – Engineers and other mechanical experts can analyze crash evidence to determine whether a mechanical defect led to the collision.
- Forensic toxicologists – These experts can review toxicology test results and explain whether alcohol or drugs contributed to the crash.
How Can an Expert Witness Help With My Utah Truck Accident Case?
The most critical aspect of any Utah truck accident claim is identifying which parties are liable and then proving it. Determining who is at fault can be tricky in any crash case, but it can be especially challenging in Utah truck accident claims due to several unique factors. This is where the help of expert witnesses proves extremely valuable.
Truck accidents involve the interplay of vehicle physics, industry standards, and other factors that are foreign to the average person. An expert witness can evaluate these technical factors through a professional lens and determine whether and how certain elements are significant.
In addition to providing professional expertise, expert witnesses can explain critical concepts in everyday language. That way, judges, jurors, and insurance adjusters don’t need specialized knowledge to understand the causes and effects of a wreck.
Who Can Testify in Court as a Witness?
A person must qualify as a fact witness or an expert witness to take the stand and testify before the court. Common fact witnesses in truck accident cases include the passengers of the vehicles involved, occupants of other cars, and other onlookers.
By contrast, expert witnesses must have credentials and expertise to offer valuable testimony in court even though they did not personally witness the accident.
Can the Defendant in a Truck Accident Case Bring Expert Witnesses?
Any party involved in a truck accident case, including the defendant, has the right to call an expert witness to testify. As long as the expert is qualified as an expert in the given jurisdiction, the court will consider the expert’s testimony.
In many truck accident cases, attorneys on both sides call experts to introduce offensive or defensive points on behalf of their clients. For instance, if your attorney calls on an accident reconstruction specialist to demonstrate that the truck driver’s negligence contributed to the wreck, the other side’s attorney will likely call on a different expert from the same field to dispute your claim. A good truck accident lawyer will anticipate the types of evidence, and experts on the other side will introduce and prepare accordingly.
Contact a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer Now
If you have questions about expert witnesses or any other aspect of your Utah truck accident case, don’t hesitate to contact the legal team at Swenson & Shelley. We can meet with you and discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation. Call or contact us today to get started.
Will an expert witness be needed in a truck accident claim?
Expert witnesses are used in cases all the time. Frequently in trucking cases, you’re going to have expert witnesses that talk about the role of the truck driver, the role of the company in putting together safety plans, and in what went wrong. They’re not always used, but generally, you will have an expert witness that will need to testify in a case. If you have questions about a specific case, give us a call. We’re happy to talk to you about that.
Contact our dedicated Utah truck accident lawyers at Swenson & Shelley today for a free, confidential consultation.
Let our experience work for you.