If you were injured in a car accident or other personal injury incident, you bear the burden of proof showing that the defendant was responsible for your injuries. One way that you may be able to do this is by presenting testimony from an expert witness who can help bolster your case.
Here, we explain the role of expert witnesses in Texas personal injury cases and the requirements to present expert testimony.
What Is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is someone who uses advanced knowledge or experience to provide opinions or evidence that a lay witness could not offer. Expert witnesses may work for anyone involved in litigation, including injured parties, insurance companies, or defense lawyers.
Expert witnesses generally have extensive knowledge in a specific discipline or field. They may testify about information based on their knowledge or experience in a field or after analyzing evidence relevant to the case.
Juries may give more weight to expert witness testimony because of their advanced knowledge and skill.
Other experts consult with personal injury lawyers and provide useful background on issues involved in the case but do not testify in court.
What Are the Requirements To Be an Expert Witness in Texas?
A person cannot testify as an expert witness without showing they are qualified to do so. The opposing attorney can interrogate the witness about their background to confirm expert witness eligibility.
Under the Texas Rules of Evidence, a person may qualify as an expert by “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education.” They may give an opinion about a matter of their scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge if doing so would help a jury better understand the issue. Experts can base their opinion or facts on evidence they were given, reviewed, or personally observed.
Types of Expert Witnesses Used in Texas Personal Injury Cases
Various expert witnesses may aid in a personal injury case. They can provide useful information or testimony to help bolster the victim’s case. The defense could also present their own expert witnesses to refute the victim’s claim.
Depending on the circumstances and issues involved, one or more of the following expert witnesses may be retained:
Medical experts can provide testimony about the type of injuries you suffered and the impact on your life. They can discuss what types of medical treatments you received and may need in the future. They can also discuss any complications you experienced.
Medical experts may include:
- EMS workers
- Pain management specialists
- Primary care physicians
In medical malpractice cases, a medical expert must testify about how the defendant medical provider’s care fell below the standard of care. The expert must be in the same specialty area as the defendant.
A rehabilitation expert can provide testimony about the long-term effects of the injuries on the victim’s life. For example, the expert may testify about your loss of abilities that would prevent you from working, tending to your activities of daily living, or enjoying the quality of your life.
Rehabilitation experts may also testify about prosthetic devices or the need for other medical equipment and how it can affect the victim’s life.
If the accident involved impairment, a toxicologist may be necessary to explain the presence of drugs or alcohol in the defendant’s system and how it could have impacted the driver’s abilities.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
Accident reconstruction experts use available evidence and data to recreate visual simulations of how the accident occurred.
Engineering experts may be called in cases involving road design or product liability matters to testify about how the design was not sound.
A semi-truck accident expert may provide information about how the accident occurred, such as drowsy driving, maintenance problems, or defective auto parts.
Mental Health Specialists
Personal injury incidents can injure people in ways that are not as easy to observe. Long after the physical injuries heal, the victim may still continue to suffer from serious mental health issues.
Some common mental health issues that may arise include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Emotional distress
Mental health specialists can observe and explain the effects the accident and injuries had on the victim’s mental health.
Economic experts can evaluate factors about the victim to determine how their injuries may impact their long-term earning capacity, such as their:
- Age and overall health
- Work history and history of promotions
Economic experts may also help determine the monetary value of losses the victim suffered, such as medical expenses, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and other financial losses.
A San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer Will Have Access to Leading Experts to Strengthen Your Claim
If you were injured in a personal injury accident, having an expert witness may help strengthen your claim. An experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney can determine which witnesses may be necessary in your case. Contact us at George Salinas Injury Lawyers at (210) 225-0909 to schedule a free consultation.