How Are Expert Witnesses Used in an Illinois Car Accident Injury Claim?
Car accidents are often caused by a complex combination of numerous factors. Drunk driving, distracted driving, poor road conditions, weather, and countless other issues may all contribute to serious auto accidents. If you or your loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be interested in bringing a personal injury claim against the liable party or parties and seeking compensation. However, in order to be successful, you will need to prove that the responsible party’s negligent or wrongful actions caused the accident and that you suffered damages as a result. In complex or multifaceted car accident cases, testimony from expert witnesses can be especially useful.
Establishing the Elements of a Negligence Claim
To win your car accident claim, you and your attorneys will need to establish four main points. First, you must show that the defendant, meaning the person against whom you are bringing the lawsuit, owed you a “duty of care.” All drivers owe a duty of care to drive in a safe, lawful manner. Secondly, you must show that the defendant breached this duty. The defendant may have neglected their duty of care by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, making erratic lane changes, failing to adequately secure truck cargo, or otherwise acting negligently. Next, you must demonstrate “causation” and show that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Lastly, you must show that you suffered damages, or financial losses, as a result of your injuries.
Expert Witnesses Provide Testimony That May Bolster Your Case
There are many different ways that testimony from expert witnesses may be used to establish the elements needed to obtain compensation. Accident reconstructionists are professionals skilled in accident scene investigation and analysis. They use information from a variety of sources – including traffic signal phasing diagrams, event data recorders, and GPS tracking systems – to determine how an accident unfolded. They then use this information to recreate the accident and explain, in their own professional opinion, what they believe happened. Science and engineering experts may also weigh in how different factors contributed to the accident.
Expert witnesses may also provide evidence that shows the causal connection between the plaintiff’s injuries and the defendant’s actions. For example, a medical expert may analyze x-rays and other medical evidence and then use this information to explain that a defendant’s back injury was likely caused by the force applied to his spine during impact. Professionals working in the fields of finance, vocational rehabilitation, medicine, and mental health may also be used to demonstrate the extent of a patient’s damages. They may explain the plaintiff’s prognosis, the types of ongoing physical and mental health treatment he or she will likely require, or the effect his or her disability will have on his or her daily life.
Contact a Joliet Car Accident Injury Attorney
The accomplished Illinois personal injury lawyers at Schwartz Injury Law have successfully obtained compensation for clients injured in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more. To learn how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries, call us at 815-723-7300. Schedule your free, confidential, no-obligation consultation today.