The Role of an Expert Witness in Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in Georgia


December 28, 2017

The Role of an Expert Witness in Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in Georgia

Expert witnesses can be used in numerous types of personal injury and medical negligence cases, including auto accident cases. Whether or not the case goes to trial, a personal injury attorney may decide that using an expert witness is necessary to protect their client's rights. Many accident victims are unaware of the significance of the expert witness’ role in some complex motor vehicle accident claims. For example, if the insurance company of the "at-fault" driver is denying fault for the accident, an expert witness may be needed to analyze the accident scene and demonstrate the negligent action of the other driver. 

In one motor vehicle accident case, there can be numerous people involved.  There are lawyers (on both sides of the case), an accident victim or victims, at least one at fault driver, witnesses, police officers, medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and numerous other possibilities.  Not all accident cases require the assistance of an accident scene investigator or an expert witness to prove negligence.  

However, In some situations, an expert witness may help a jury better understand:

  • How the accident occurred.
    How the accident could have been prevented.
  • Who was at-fault for the accident.
    How negligent was the "at-fault" driver.
    How your injuries were sustained in the accident.
  • What the prognosis is of your injuries.

An expert witness is used to explain certain theories in a case that the attorneys and she witnesses cannot.  For example, an accident reconstruction expert may explain how studying the tire marks that were left at the scene of an accident can show what point a vehicle applied the brakes before hitting another car.  A medical expert may explain how a victim’s injuries from a motor vehicle accident manifested over time, instead of presenting themselves shortly after the accident occurred.

How Do Attorneys Find a Credible, Qualified Expert Witness?

When an attorney makes the determination that the use of an expert witness is warranted, an accomplished attorney will find and retain an expert witness who is fair, unbiased and highly credible.  The credibility of an expert witness can be an essential part of prosecuting complicated injury cases. Therefore, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be certain to find an expert witness who is highly educated, qualified and credible.  

The Expert Witness' Report

During the case, the expert may prepare a report of his or her findings and opinions that are presented to the opposing party.  Often, when an opposing party reads an expert report, he or she may become more willing to settle the claim.  The opposing party often understands that the material in the expert report will be the content of the expert’s testimony in a trial.  When an expert report is especially convincing, opposing parties understand that a jury may be swayed by the expert’s statements in court.  This helps your attorney in pre-trial negotiations, which could result in a settlement offer.

How Are Experts Compensated?

Expert witnesses are paid on an hourly basis regardless of their findings.  Expert witnesses are also paid for their travel time, travel expenses, time spent reviewing your case, drafting a report, and testifying in court hearings and at depositions.  Depending on the expert’s qualifications, the expert’s bill may be several thousand dollars, although our firm advances these costs on our clients’ behalf and only recoup them if we can obtain a monetary recovery in their cases.  An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will determine whether or not your case needs an expert witness.  

Expert witnesses can also be beneficial when there are complex issues in the case that a layperson may not be able to easily understand.  This is often the case with certain medical conditions and injuries.  In motor vehicle accident claims, it may also involve aspects of physics and engineering as the parties argue as to how the accident occurred.

Do I Need an Expert Witnesses for My Case?

Probably not. In most accident and injury cases, the use of an expert witness is unnecessary because of the evidence that you and your attorney have collected.  Evidence such as your accident scene photos, police reports, body shop photos, and medical bills paint a clear picture of who was at fault and what damages you sustained as a result of the accident.  Your experienced personal injury attorney is there to provide you with the best legal advice concerning your case.  If your case doesn't require the use of an expert witness, your attorney should advise you of this.

Our Promise to You

At Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we are dedicated to providing the best advice for our clients.  As your attorneys we promise to:

  • Treat our clients’ cases as if they were our own.
  • Protect our clients from powerful insurance companies.
    Analyze your case at no charge to you.
    Work extremely hard to get you all the compensation and benefits you deserve.
    Give our clients’ cases our personal attention.
    Promptly return phone calls and keep our clients informed.
    Be there for our clients when they need us most.
    Always treat you with dignity and respect.

Our promise is to operate at all times with honesty, integrity, high moral character and unquestionable ethics. And we'll treat you with kindness and give you the dignity and respect that you deserve.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 33 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

Your Time to File a Claim is Limited By Georgia Law

There are time limitations for bringing a claim. Be sure to read our "Georgia Statute of Limitations" page for more information about important deadlines that effect your ability to file an injury claim. We also provide a "A Guide to Personal Injury Law in Georgia" that will help you better understand the laws the affect your case.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.Montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Sources:

http://www.tdi.texas.gov/rules/bor-auto-english.html

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/claims-adjusters-appraisers-examiners-and-investigators.htm

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333 

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.