Expert Witnesses in Virginia Car Accident Cases

Expert witnesses in Virginia car accident trials provide expert knowledge when necessary. They can provide expertise that assists a judge or a jury in making a decision about a certain part of the case that a layperson does not have the ability to contribute to.

There are many benefits to having an expert witness presented so that they can help educate the judge and jury. They can provide significant clarification and they can make sure that the jury is not confused. If you would like to know more about what role an expert witness would play in your case, contact an experienced car accident lawyer for a knowledgeable assessment.

Impact of a Witness

Both the Code of Virginia and relevant case law lay out what is required to be an expert witness. Typically, an expert witness must meet certain gatekeeper standards in order to qualify. This includes education, experience, knowledge, and the ability to assist a fact finder in making a decision. Most expert witnesses in Virginia car accident cases are people with advanced degrees and have knowledge beyond a layperson and they use that to their advantage.

A car accident attorney makes the decision on how to use expert witnesses in Virginia car accident cases. The attorney is going to choose expert witnesses to assist them in presenting their case in a certain way. They are also going to guide the expert witness to properly frame their case. Every case is unique in how they will use the experts.

The way in which the car accident case expert witness is employed makes a big difference. It is impossible to say that the car accident case is weighted at certain car accident expert witnesses. It is the same weight in every case, but in many cases, it is very important. Many cases often come down to a battle of the expert. It means that the expert witness, in how they are presented, may have a very important impact on the case.

Existing Relationships of Experts

There may be instances in which the treating physician is also an expert witness. Expert witnesses in Virginia car accident cases are subject to intense qualifications in Virginia and they must disclose the wealth of information given out about what they may say.

There are a lot of different things that may come out, but generally, there is no prohibition. The expert witness does not have to be independent, they can be someone that is otherwise on the treating regimen. However, they must separately be qualified as an expert and witness.

Expert Witness Testimony for the Defense

While it is important for the plaintiff to use expert witnesses, defendants are going to use expert witnesses as well and they are going to use aggressive expert witnesses that are doctors and engineers that are going to testify for their side. There are a lot of things that expert witnesses are going to be used for and both sides are going to use them to further their theory of the case.

Typical Expert Witnesses

In a car accident case, from the beginning of the case forward, they are going to need potential engineering witnesses to reconstruct the accident and talk about how the accident occurred, experts in physics or in automobiles to discuss what happens during the accident. Medical experts, treating physicians or expert doctors to discuss how the mechanics of the accident impact human body and physiology and how a person may suffer certain types of injuries in certain types of accident.

A treating physician and/or expert physician might be needed to talk about the types of injuries suffered.

They might discuss:

  • What does that injury actually mean in layman terms?
  • What is the prognosis for recovery? Is there a permanency?
  • What is the reasonable timeline for that recovery?

There may also be vocational expert witnesses in Virginia car accident cases. They talk about lost wages or other things discussing recovery and how to properly evaluate recovery in a time period like that.

Drawbacks of an Expert Witness

The downfall of expert witnesses in Virginia car accident cases is that they are not free. Typically, expert witnesses, especially doctors and engineers, are expensive. An attorney is paying their hourly rate for preparation. They are probably going to have a deposition. They are going to have to review the expert witness information and approve it.

A lot of time and money goes into the use of expert witnesses and in many cases that is why expert witnesses are not used. It is a potential draw back from the client’s end. That means that they are potentially losing out on some money that could be in their pocket because they are paying extra witness fees.

Virginia Car Accident Trial Process