Importance Of Expert Witnesses in Your Louisiana Personal Injury Case Involving Catastrophic Injuries

Personal Injury Case Involving Catastrophic Injuries

Only some Louisiana personal injury lawyers specialize in handling cases that involve catastrophic injuries. These lawyers are well-equipped to address the unique and formidable legal and medical issues in these cases. They have experience working with medical experts, insurance companies, and other parties involved in the case. At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our catastrophic injury lawyers are well aware of the complex medical conditions that result from these devastating injuries and can accurately estimate the long-term medical costs associated with them.

Catastrophic injuries in Louisiana can result in enormous medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and loss of income. Our catastrophic injury lawyers will work to ensure that the injured person receives compensation for all of these costs.

Catastrophic injury claims often require expert witnesses to help a jury reach conclusions and determine the total value of a case.

Who Are Expert Witnesses?

Expert witnesses have specialized knowledge and experience in a specific field. They’re often called upon in Louisiana personal injury cases to provide testimony, which can establish liability and damages.

The success of personal injury cases involving catastrophic injuries often depends on the information and explanation provided by experts in several fields. When you are injured in an accident, you will need experts in various professions to support your claim about how the accident happened, the injuries you suffered, and the financial losses you incurred. Expert testimonies can help prevent insurers’ malicious and underhanded tactics from derailing your personal injury claim.

Expert Witnesses And Lay Witnesses

Lay witnesses may be able to provide details about an accident. Still, expert opinion is essential to prove fault and demonstrate how much compensation the person bringing the claim is entitled to.

Lay or fact witnesses are limited to testifying about what they saw, heard, said, or did. Police officers are typically called in as lay witnesses.

Expert witnesses provide opinions based on their specialized knowledge and experience, while lay witnesses rely on their expertise and experience.

Expert witnesses are allowed to testify at trial because of their established mastery in a specific field related to injury cases.

The Federal Rules of Evidence 702 outlines the requirements necessary to qualify as an expert witness. These include: 

· The witness’s expertise will help the judge or jury understand the evidence or facts of the case;

· The witness bases their testimony on sufficient, empirical information;

· The witness formed the conclusions of their testimony through reliable methods with sound principles; and 

· The witness has reliably used their expertise to apply those methods to the case.

When assessing an expert witness’s credibility, the jury will consider several factors, including:

· Qualifications;

· Experience;

· Strength of the evidence supporting their opinions; and

· How they communicate.

Consulting And Testifying Experts

Expert witnesses are typically categorized into:

· Consulting experts; and

· Testifying experts.

A consulting expert will assist or guide a lawyer on technical issues. This can help lawyers determine whether to settle a case or to take the case to trial. On the other hand, a testifying expert provides a detailed report and then provides testimony at trial.

Expert witnesses who work in a consultancy capacity provide reports based on an analysis of the accident scene or existing medical records. These can be introduced at trial or leveraged to negotiate a settlement.

Types Of Expert Witnesses In Louisiana Personal Injury Cases

The most common types of expert witnesses used in Louisiana personal injury lawsuits include:

Medical Experts

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, we often utilize the services of medical expert witnesses during both the discovery and trial stages.

A medical expert witness is an individual who possesses specialized knowledge, training, skill, and experience related to your case and testifies to give the jurors and judge a clearer understanding of the factors necessary to reach a verdict.

Medical expert witnesses are physicians, nurses, surgeons, or other licensed practitioners whose skills and experience qualify them to testify in a particular medical area.

Medical expert witnesses can communicate effectively, clearly, and easily and present and simplify complex procedures to judges and jurors. 

Accident Reconstruction Experts

Accident reconstruction experts can play a crucial role in assessing why the accident happened and who is at fault. These experts may use scientific gadgets to determine the speed of the vehicles during the accident, the impact force during the crash, and even how a body may have been injured in an auto accident. Accident reconstruction experts may submit written reports and develop 3D models to demonstrate how the accident occurred. These 3D models often make for compelling evidence in accident claims that proceed to trial.

Entities such as the Society of Automotive Engineers offer certificates in accident reconstruction, but an expert’s qualifications come from real-world training, knowledge, and experience.

Economic Experts

Economists use their professional experience and special training to demonstrate the full effects of an accident victim’s economic losses.

A competent economist can significantly increase the value of the plaintiff’s claim by calculating and defining the various economic losses a plaintiff suffered due to an injury.

Economic experts testify regarding the amount of money the plaintiff did not, or will not, receive due to the catastrophic injury they suffered. The funds sought by the plaintiff often includes:

  • Lost wages.
  • Loss in earning capacity.
  • Lost business profits.
  • Payments made to others for services incurred as a result of the injury.

Life Care Planners

Life care planners can determine the plaintiff’s life expectancy and how significant the loss of earning capacity is. They’ll quantify the suffering and pain caused by the entire personal injury process and will comprehensively analyze the plaintiff’s ability to perform daily activities.

Presenting a comprehensive life care plan outlining the cost of a plaintiff’s future care needs to the insurance company may result in a reasonable settlement offer without initiating litigation.   

Vocational Rehabilitation Experts

Vocational rehabilitation experts assist lawyers at our Louisiana personal injury law firm when injuries are so severe that injured victims cannot return to their former employment. These experts may testify about the type of work a person could do before and after an accident. They provide information concerning physical and mental limitations that injured victims have that may limit their ability to perform certain work. A vocational rehabilitation expert is instrumental in demonstrating an injured person’s diminished earning capacity because of a catastrophic injury.

Mental Health Experts

Mental health experts are necessary when seeking damages for emotional or psychological distress. These experts can help the Court understand an accident victim’s mental state and the impact of the injuries on their emotional well-being. Psychological injuries can be the hardest to recover from. 

Many jurors may be skeptical and doubtful about psychological injuries as these are not visible. Hiring the right mental health expert for your case is crucial to overcome the jury’s sense of doubt.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers – Our Lawyers Know How To Secure Favorable Outcomes for Clients Using Expert Witness Testimonies

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our lawyers can access a wide range of experts in different fields. 

Using expert witnesses in a personal injury case, even if it is not required, can be a powerful explanatory and persuasive tool. 

Louisiana personal injury attorney Bart Bernard understands that being an expert does not automatically make one a good presenter or witness. He takes as much time as necessary to ensure that the experts are prepared for their testimonies in Court. He knows how to use experts for a specific purpose, but he is the one who knows all of the details surrounding the entirety of the case and orchestrates the entire trial.

If you or a loved one were injured by someone else’s negligent actions in Louisiana, you deserve fair and just compensation. We will use our experience, skills, and resources, including experts, to get you the damages you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation. 



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