In personal injury cases, complainants are usually required to show that they suffered some kind of injury. If it were an apparent physical wound like a bruise, it would be okay for the plaintiff to testify on the injury. But sometimes the result of the accident could be an internal kind. In fact, it could even be psychological. And when it gets too complicated, the court won’t allow just anyone to claim that they suffer from some chronic illness or mental damage because of an accident.
This is where expert witnesses come in. The court requires that it be doctors, psychiatrists, etc. be the ones to examine the plaintiff’s medical condition. While expert witnesses would not have seen the actual accident, they would have the knowledge and expertise to be able to identify the outcome of that accident.
And this is what distinguishes the ordinary witness from the expert witness: the ordinary witness testifies on facts, or what they saw or experienced as it happened. On the other hand, the expert witness testifies on applicable knowledge based on such facts.
There are many kinds of expert witnesses, and most of them are relevant to personal injury claims. Accident reconstruction experts can deduce what were the causes of a car accident and even identify the vehicle at fault. Medical experts can identify the cause and effect of resulting diseases and estimate the necessary treatment thereof. Economic experts are able to calculate the lost income that would have otherwise been earned by the individual who died in an accident. These experts are all important for determining liability and amount of damages.
Usually it’s the parties who have to present their expert witness. Hence, the Lynch Law Firm recommends that complainants to an accident must keep contact with experts, just in case they are needed.
A common question clients ask is “What does a personal injury lawyer do?” Of course, a simple answer to this is that these lawyers handle your personal injury claims. Naturally, this doesn’t help the client understand what these kinds of lawyers and their firms really do.
What personal injury lawyers actually do is that they represent you in dealing with the parties to the personal injury claim. When you go to them for help, they will ask you for details and evidence of your claim, and they will assess your situation so they will know what to do. Note that they don’t decide whether you are entitled to liability or not – this is something only the court can do.
After that, they will deal with the insurance company or other party who is liable for the injury that you suffered. Should a dispute arise, which is likely, your lawyer will proceed to take the matter to court and, failing any alternative dispute resolution, will litigate the case on your behalf. This is crucial because unless you have a personal background of the law, you won’t always know how to work with the legal system in processing your claim. These lawyers, on the other hand, have been trained to do this, and they have the experience to make sure that you rights are protected.
These personal injury lawyers also work outside of court. For instance, they will advise you as to things that you should do or not do while the case is pending (as it may risk the success of your case). They might also take steps to collect more evidence to help your case.
Henness & Haight stresses how important it is to always communicate with your personal injury lawyer. It helps to know what’s being done with your case.
When people get into an accident or incur an injury, they usually know that they can sue the party at fault for damages and compensation. But like most suits, they usually take time. Knowing approximately how long a case will take to finish can be useful in helping a person decide whether to settle or not, or if it’s worth pursuing at all. Of course, estimating the time it will take to finish the case depends greatly on a lot of factors. Here are some of the most common ones:
- The type of injuries sustained – not all injuries are easy to establish, and there are many reasons why. For one thing, some injuries are more apparent than others. More complex illnesses and wounds need to be examined by an expert witness, which means more time is needed. Secondly, more severe injuries will motivate the defendant to oppose the case because they know they will be made to pay more if they lose. Hence, the legal battle could be drawn out longer than it should be.
- Availability of evidence – poorly documented accidents are naturally harder to prove. Of course, it’s never guaranteed that a person who gets into an accident will be capable of harnessing all evidence immediately. Later on, it will be harder to get witnesses, or even take picture of the accident. Even a leading Las Vegas personal injury law firm will find it very challenging to litigate a claim that was poorly documented. Of course, there will be ways around it, but it will take more time.
- Cooperation of parties – there are many reasons why people who are significant to a personal injury claim will not be able to cooperate fully, and this can take a toll on the case’s timeline. But if everyone present the necessary information, or even agree to settle, the case can be finished sooner than expected.