When you hear the term “witness” in connection with a car accident case in Maryland, you think about the people that were present at the incident and have first-hand knowledge about what they saw. It’s true that the testimony of these eye witnesses plays a crucial role as you pursue the responsible driver for compensation for your losses. However, there is another type of witness that may be instrumental in your case: Expert witnesses. Under the Maryland Rules of Evidence, expert testimony may be admitted at trial where the court determines that it will assist the jury in understanding evidence presented. How to use experts at trial will ultimately depend on the strategy of your car accident attorney, but it may be helpful to understand the different ways these specialists may be involved.
Medical Experts: A physician may participate in your case to review your injury and treatment, and give an opinion on his or her findings. A medical expert may be involved as your attorney is preparing for trial or may testify at the actual trial – or both. The opinion of these professionals is often used in connection with proving non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Mental Health Specialists: Your injuries may have a significant impact on your emotional well-being, which is where a mental health expert enters the picture. These specialists would provide opinions and/or testify just as a medical expert would; however, the focus would be on how the accident affected your mental quality of life.
Highway Safety Experts: Individuals specializing in engineering and highway safety may be called upon to issue an opinion regarding the roadway and traffic conditions that were present at the time of your accident.
Accident Reconstruction Experts: There is a great deal of science behind the causes and effects of a car accident, especially physics. An accident reconstruction expert uses knowledge and technology to restructure the chain of events surrounding the incident. The opinions of these specialists are useful in creating a causal link and to establish fault.
Economists and Actuaries: A financial expert is helpful when you need to prove losses related to your inability to work due to your injuries. Their feedback on wages and potential capabilities can be used to establish future losses that would otherwise be speculative and difficult to measure.
Depending on the evidence presented and legal issues involved in your situation, you can expect that one or more of these types of experts will play a role in your case. Their perspectives are unique, because they take complicated issues – like medical concepts and the science behind accidents – and turn them into terms that average individuals can understand.
Still, while experts are useful in your case, the defendant may also call their own specialists to contest the allegations. For this reason, you need a skilled lawyer with experience in expert witness strategies. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Maryland, please contact the Owings Mills offices of attorney Michael A. Freedman. We’re happy to answer your questions or set up a consultation to review your case.
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