The role of an expert witness may be to increase credibility of injury severity and its related effects. For instance, the insurance company may argue the claimant has exaggerated the severity of the injuries. An expert witness could help refute those claims.
Why Medical Expert Testimony Can Be So Important
There are different types of experts called upon to support an injury claim. One of the most common is a medical expert who can testify to the severity of injuries.
A lot of injured people know how long it will take to recover, can fairly easily estimate medical costs, and can figure out how many days they’ll be out of work. But those who suffer other injuries – such as very serious injuries – can have a more difficult time estimating medical costs and lost wages.
It’s important not to settle the claim without accounting for future losses, like:
- medical costs;
- lost wages;
- pain and suffering; and
- permanent disability.
A medical expert can testify to the long-term effects of an injury so the claimant has a clear idea of the damages he or she will face and can negotiate accordingly. Testimony could support the physical and psychological impact of an injury as well. Or it could establish the ongoing symptoms and necessity of surgery or rehabilitation down the road.
Types of Injuries That May Require Testimony from an Expert Witness
Some soft tissue injuries may require expert testimony; this might include severe whiplash. Insurers may dispute these claims, so medical experts may be necessary to establish not only that the injury exists, but that it causes long-term damages.
An expert witness would be beneficial to someone with a spinal cord injury. If it causes paralysis, complications may develop. Bladder or bowel dysfunction, respiratory problems and nerve pain are some of them. It may lead to other costs, which could increase the claim’s value.
A spinal cord injury victim will want to include future costs in his or her requested damages like:
- a wheelchair;
- assistive technology;
- installation of a wheelchair ramp; and
- handrails throughout the home.
A severe traumatic brain injury is another type of injury that may require medical testimony. Psychiatrists and psychologists can test and testify on a patient’s changed mental capacity.
A head injury could impair cognitive skills like:
- reason; and
There may be changes in behavior as well. These complications may make it more difficult to work. Mental health treatment to address these complications may be necessary.
Some severe head injury patients also suffer emotional problems like:
- anger; and
- mood swings.
Seeking Legal Representation if Injuries are Significant
Many people don’t realize the impact a severe injury can have on their lives. Medical bills continue to accumulate. Physical impairments affect the ability to work and perform routine daily tasks and emotional struggles result in a reduced quality of life. If these circumstances occur, it’s important to know the worth of an injury claim. One of the best ways to do this may be to secure an expert witness.
But even more important is to seek legal counsel. An attorney can investigate the case to determine its value and explain the types of evidence that will help substantiate the impact of one’s injuries. Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 or use our online contact form to set up a consultation about your case.