Expert Witnesses in Indianapolis Car Accident Cases

When you get into a serious vehicle collision that prompts you to file a lawsuit to address your financial difficulties, there is a chance it goes to trial. When trying to convince a jury to award you damages, you may need to hire an expert witness for your car accident case in Indianapolis. Our well-practiced car accident attorneys know how these experts fit into your claim and could find one who will support your pursuit of a monetary award.

What Is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is someone who possesses experience or training which may assist the jury in determining an outcome for a trial. An expert witness does not have first-hand knowledge of the facts of the case, but formulates an opinion which they share with the jury. Not every subject matter will have a use for this witness but there are some matters which require expert testimony to help a jury determine the outcome.

There are no hard and fast guidelines as to how someone in Indianapolis qualifies as an expert witness for a car crash trial. They may be considered an expert based on their educational background, training, or experience, and a judge determines whether the witness has sufficient qualifications to render an opinion on an issue of disputed facts. If a judge feels the expert witness is not qualified, they can bar the witness from testifying.

The most frequent type of expert witnesses that attorneys use are medical experts, such as when there is medical causation between the accident and the injury, or an opinion on the need for future care.

Another common expert is accident reconstructionists, who can offer opinions on an accident, which may not be readily apparent to the average juror.

Can the Expert Have an Existing Relationship With the Plaintiff? Body of a man in a suit, holding documents

There is no law stating an expert witness cannot have a pre-existing relationship with a plaintiff. However, that fact may be brought up by the defense to impeach their credibility. If the jury feels that the expert and the plaintiff have a relationship that may taint the opinion of the experts, that could harm the case.

Using Expert Witnesses at Trial

Not every car accident trial in Indianapolis requires an expert witness. First, they must be able to testify to something which the average juror may not comprehend. For example, they would never use an expert to testify what color the light was in an intersection collision. Experts tend to be expensive to retain and the potential damages in a case must justify the use of an expert witness. In the end, this is all a matter of trial strategy, which is left up to the lawyer.

Ultimately, the credibility of an expert depends on numerous factors. A jury can completely disregard an expert or they may embrace the opinion, but both sides will try to either support the testimony or discredit them. An expert should assist the jury in coming to the conclusion that the party who retained them should prevail at trial.

Talk to Our Indianapolis Attorneys About Expert Witnesses in Car Crash Lawsuits

Many jurors think, because of their training and qualifications, these experts should always be believed. What many people do not understand is that some of them are professional testifiers. They will frequently testify for either the plaintiff or the defendant, and that can affect the bias of the testimony in the case at hand.

Many of them are paid handsomely for their testimony and a jury should consider whether the expert is merely giving an opinion because they are being paid a large sum of money or whether that opinion is truly held. Consult with our personal injury attorneys if you have questions about using an expert witness in your Indianapolis car accident case.