Expert Witnesses in Oklahoma City Car Accident Cases
Though many car accidents are straightforward as far as causes and liability, this is not always the case. For automobile collisions, many parties could bear responsibility which could make the process of recovering compensation difficult. Expert witnesses could make the process easier by analyzing the accident and drawing conclusions about how the collision occurred.
There are many different types of expert witnesses that could be used in a car accident case such as medical, engineering, accident reconstructionists, and more. A skilled car collision attorney could help determine which expert witnesses in Oklahoma City car accident cases may be relevant to your case.
What is an Expert Witness?
Oklahoma follows the national standard for expert witnesses. The national standard for an expert witness is that they must be qualified and have experience related to the case.
Education and real-world experience are the two elements that make someone an expert witness. In a car wreck case, the expert witness is usually some type of doctor. Most of the time, the treating doctor will testify in court. The treating doctor could go through the medical history of the injured victim and the injuries sustained in the accident has affected the plaintiff. The defense and their insurance company may have a medical advisor on the other side saying that the victim was not injured as badly as they claim.
Types of Expert Witnesses in Car Collision Cases
A car accident attorney will suggest using an expert witness in a case if there are issues regarding how the wreck occurred or debates over specific details in the case. Expert witnesses are required if an issue in the case concerns something that is beyond the average person’s realm of knowledge or skill. Most of the time, the expert witness in an Oklahoma City car accident case is going to be the treating doctor, but if there is some issue complicated by the medical treatment, they may work with somebody out-of-state. An engineer could testify regarding a product issue or failure on the part of the vehicle as well as why an airbag failed to deploy. A lawyer could hire a crash reconstructionist if there is a debate about how the wreck occurred.
It is best to speak to a dedicated attorney to enlist the help of expert witnesses in Oklahoma City to prove their claim in court.
Using an Expert during Trial
To testify at trial, a judge will review whether the expert witness is providing reliable testimony and whether that evidence or testimony is relevant. Judges can look at the witness’s prior work history, and how the expert came to their conclusion regarding the case. For example, some insurance companies will hire a medical doctor to do a defense medical examination. The doctor will then give their opinions regarding the type and extent of the injuries.
Both sides in a car accident case may have an expert witness, so the jury will examine the credibility of the witnesses to determine the weight to give their statements. Most of the time, the expert witnesses cancel each other out. However, this is not always the case, but it depends on how credible the jury finds each expert witness.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Having an Expert Witness in Court
An expert witness often is not needed in a car wreck case, but the plaintiff could benefit from using one if the case involves complicated issues in what caused the wreck or complicated medical treatments. The vast majority of car accident cases do not involve expert witnesses. They are used mostly in medical malpractice or product liability cases. Expert witnesses oftentimes charge very high rates, easily in excess of $400 per hour. If the case involves multiple depositions and investigations, both sides in the case could easily spend $10,000 or $20,000 in expert witness fees before the case goes to trial. A person may not want to hire an expert witness if they think it would over-complicate the facts of the case.
Call to Learn More About Expert Witnesses in Oklahoma City Car Crash Cases
If you were involved in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Expert witnesses in Oklahoma City car accident cases could help you prove liability so that you can recover the damages you deserve. Call today and set up a consultation to learn more about the pros and cons of using an expert witness.