Will My Attorney Need To Retain Experts?
There are a few reasons why your attorney would hire experts to establish liability, even if your injury is evident. Personal injury cases are never about what’s obvious, in fact, no legal cases are ever obvious. Even if they are, the defense’s attorney will try to tear holes through that, and they likely will be able to, even though you are telling the truth.
What Can You Prove?
Everything in the legal field revolves around what you can prove, including what you can prove to be correct or incorrect about the defense’s arguments. In personal injury cases, it’s crucial that you can prove negligence because that is what makes the other party liable, or responsible in the eyes of the court. Negligence is when someone fails to take reasonable care, and it results in the injury of someone else. The court cannot simply take someone’s word for what it is. They want to see evidence, pictures of injuries, medical reports, and to understand how it happened piece by piece. Because they were not there when the injury occurred, your lawyer will paint a picture of what happened that day, what the accident was, and how it directly resulted in your injury. That is proving negligence.
Using a car accident as an example, your lawyer will send their investigator out to the accident scene to see what information they can get there. An expert in this would know to take pictures of the topography, road conditions, pictures of the damage to the car, any road signs nearby, or any marks left on the road. They will even make a note of any security cameras in the area so that your lawyer can begin the process of obtaining the tapes for evidence. If you aren’t at fault, all of these are critical to a personal injury case. The lawyer will turn to the police to retain their report from when they arrived on the scene, which includes witness interviews, anything that the defense may have stated at the site, and even what their conclusion is about the accident. Police officers are also an expert in their field, and they can give vital information to help piece together what happened. The first few experts your lawyer obtains will be all about proving negligence.
The next thing your attorney will do is prove damages. Do they need to retain an expert, even if your injury is very obvious? Your injury may even be easy to see while you’re standing in court, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need an expert. Your lawyer will ask you for any medical report, medical testing, appointment overviews, and even prescriptions that you were given as a result of your accident. All of these will give a hint as to how you are suffering. Here’s another reason why they would bring in an expert – is it obvious to the average person looking at an x-ray that there’s a fracture or a break? Not necessarily. Not everyone can read x-rays, and only professionals can read x-rays correctly. Your lawyer would likely retain a professional to testify as to what your x-ray says, what their diagnosis would be, and even how that injury would affect you in the future. Would it keep you from working? Is it painful enough to disrupt your sleep? These are things that only a medical expert would know, and it proves pain and suffering to the court.
What Else Are Experts Necessary For?
A professional mechanic can explain how by looking at the damage to both of the cars, he may be able to prove liability, or even prove that what the defense is saying happened, cannot have happened at all. An expert in film and videography can take a look at the security camera footage and tell the court whether the video was doctored and changed, or if it’s original.
There are some reasons that attorneys will call in expert testimony. The idea is to find and uncover the truth, find out what actually happened, and how it will change things in the future. Taking someone’s word for it doesn’t suffice in court, especially when someone is making general statements that they don’t know very much about. An expert will know exactly what you’re trying to prove and hone in on the tiny details that the average person would miss.
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