In some car accident cases, plaintiffs must somehow explain intricate, scientific information to a jury of ordinary people. In such cases, an expert can be called in to testify.
Experts may be called upon to testify if you have evidence based on scientific or highly technical information. An expert might come from various scientific fields or areas of expertise. In a car accident case, expert witnesses often include medical experts who testify about injuries, automotive experts, and accident reconstruction experts. Before you begin searching for someone to testify as an expert, you should talk to your attorney about who may qualify as an expert. Different states employ varying standards when allowing experts to testify in court. Georgia follows the Daubert rule, meaning the judge will act as the gatekeeper and must be convinced of the expert’s credentials.
To discuss the possibility of expert witnesses in your case, call our Georgia car accident lawyers of Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to set up a free case review.
When Expert Witnesses Are Needed in Georgia Car Accident Cases
When evidence becomes highly technical or scientific, an expert might be necessary to explain the evidence to the jury. For example, in a criminal case involving DNA evidence, the scientific expert who analyzed it would be called to testify about their findings.
Experts often come from scientific fields, but this is not always true. Any time that in-depth, specialized knowledge is required to understand the evidence, an expert may be utilized.
In car accident cases, much of the evidence is scientific in nature. Perhaps you have complex injuries that cannot be explained without the expert knowledge of a doctor. Maybe there was a malfunction in one of the vehicles that cannot be understood unless an expert automotive technician explains it.
Whether an expert is needed depends on what kind of evidence you plan to produce in court and whether that evidence requires an expert to explain it. Additionally, you might need an expert to combat the evidence presented by the defendant. You should speak to your attorney about your legal strategy to determine if you need any experts for your case.
Types of Expert Witnesses We Might Call in a Georgia Car Accident Lawsuit
Among the most commonly called-upon experts are doctors, auto experts, and accident reconstruction experts. However, your specific case might require an expert from an entirely different field. Our Georgia car accident lawyers can work to connect you with the experts you need.
Injuries in car accident cases can be severe and complex. It is not unusual for a plaintiff’s overall medical condition to result from compounding injuries sustained in one crash. On top of that, injuries are often difficult to show to a jury because many plaintiffs are somewhat or entirely recovered by the time their trial date arrives. Having a medical expert like a doctor review your medical records from the crash and testify about your injuries might be the best way to inform the jury of how badly you were hurt.
In cases where the accident victim did not survive their injuries and family members are suing for wrongful death, a medical expert might testify about the cause of death. Defendants often try to argue that the injuries from the car accident are not what caused the victims passing. In that case, the plaintiff would need a medical expert to review their loved one’s records and injuries and determine if the accident was the direct cause of death.
Accident Reconstruction Experts
Even when injuries are simple, the collision itself might be very complicated. This is especially so in cases involving multi-vehicle crashes. Accident reconstruction experts can be called upon to review evidence about the accident (e.g., tire marks, speed, vehicle damages) and scientifically recreate how the accident likely occurred.
For example, an accident reconstruction expert might examine tire marks on the road, damage to the vehicles, and details from police reports to determine which driver likely caused the accident and the factors that led to the collision. This kind of testimony can put an end to back-and-forth bickering between the parties about who hit whom.
Auto Mechanic Expert
Sometimes, car accidents do not happen because of driver negligence but because of faulty vehicle parts. You might have heard news stories about auto manufacturers recalling certain vehicles. This is often because they realize these cars are manufactured with defective parts. If these defects are not caught, drivers might be injured in crashes.
If you believe your crash occurred because of a defective vehicle part, like faulty brakes, you might need to have your vehicle evaluated by an automotive expert. These experts often have first-hand experience working on vehicles and can identify defective parts. Considering that modern vehicles rely on computer systems, this kind of expert knowledge may be quite complex.
Who is Qualified to Testify as an Expert in a Georgia Car Accident Case?
Not just anyone with knowledge in a particular scientific or technical field can waltz into a courtroom and testify as an expert. First, a potential expert must qualify as an expert, often before a judge and opposing counsel. How an expert qualifies varies by state, and the courts have carved out various rules over time. Georgia follows the Daubert rule.
Georgia has codified the Daubert rule under O.C.G.A. § 24-7-702(b). The expert’s opinion should be based on scientific, technical, or otherwise specialized knowledge that helps the jury understand important information. Their testimony should be based on sufficient evidence and facts. Their testimony should stem from reliable methods or principles. Finally, the expert must reliably apply those methods or principles to the facts of the case.
According to the Daubert rule, the court acts as the gatekeeper and actively works to keep our experts and information that do not meet the rigorous Daubert standard. As such, the qualifying process is crucial, and challenges from the defense might prevent the expert from testifying. Your attorney can help you prepare the expert for trial and challenges from the defense.
Call Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers for Help
Contact our Atlanta car accident lawyers of Howe Law by calling (844) 876-4357 to set up a confidential case review at no cost to you.