When should you call medical experts to assess your injuries after a car accident? Do attorneys and medical experts work together to determine your eligibility for a car accident case, or should you contact an expert witness in the medical field by yourself?
These questions can be very confusing, especially when dealing with an auto accident’s physical and emotional effects. 1 800 Ask Gary explains the role of medical experts in auto accident claims and answers a few frequently asked questions about the process.
1 800 Ask Gary Explains Medical Experts and Testimony
A medical expert witness, or any expert witness, is typically a professional in their field, someone called in to testify in front of a jury or during a legal case. In the case of an auto accident, an expert witness may be someone who has specialized knowledge about car crashes or who can testify about your injuries after looking at your specific auto accident case.
What Is the Role of Medical Experts in Auto Accident Claims?
The role of a medical expert is to present the necessary information to the jury that pertains to the injuries you sustained and how they may affect your life going forward. Because the jury could comprise people who have little or no medical experience, it’s crucial to have a medical expert explain to them, in layman’s terms, what your accident means and why you need adequate compensation for it.
The compensation can help you pay your medical bills and get your life back on track as you move forward after the accident. A medical expert witness, according to 1 800 Ask Gary, is essential to explain the following concepts to the jury:
- The role of the accident in the injury: It can sometimes be challenging to determine whether a person sustained an injury during an accident or if they were previously injured. This doesn’t mean that the jury thinks you aren’t being truthful about your injury — it simply indicates the need for expert witnesses to determine what the car accident did to your body and the type of help you may need to heal.
- The type of injury: Whether you sustained a spinal injury, a concussion, or several broken bones, it’s essential to realize that your jurors may not be familiar with the details of how this injury affects someone’s body as well as the day-to-day details of how it makes your life more difficult.
- The short-term and long-term effects of the injury: You may have to take off work, collect disability payments, or quit your job entirely and deal with lost wages after being injured in a car accident. Speaking to a knowledgeable representative at 1 800 Ask Gary can help determine whether you should submit a legal claim for your injuries.
How Do I Know if I Should File an Auto Accident Claim?
Do you have a car accident case? There are many types of car accidents, and not all of them receive attention from an attorney. Often, it’s up to you as to whether you move forward with a personal injury lawsuit. Familiarize yourself with the information below to determine when to call a legal expert or file a personal injury claim.
Do All Car Accident Cases Go to Court?
Car accidents can make you anxious if your vehicle sustains any damage. However, not all accidents are severe enough to qualify for medical evaluation. Consider these “levels” of car accidents to determine where your case may stand:
- Minimal accident: This level of damage usually does not qualify for a car accident case. However, this doesn’t mean that damage didn’t happen. You may have been in a fender-bender, scraped the side of your car, or damaged an integral component such as a light or side mirror. You likely weren’t injured when this accident occurred, but you may feel anxious or startled. Most people will not call for legal help, but speaking to 1-800-Ask-Gary is still a good idea if you think you have a case.
- Moderate accident: Your car needs attention before you drive it again, or it may be totaled. You may or may not be physically injured. Your airbags deployed, and you need to visit the doctor to determine the extent of your injuries.
- Severe accident: Your car was completely totaled, and you can no longer drive it. You’ve sustained serious injuries that need immediate or emergency medical attention. You may worry about how you will pay your medical bills after this type of accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Cases
Who can testify in a car accident case? Why would an accident need to be “reconstructed”? Take a look at the following FAQs and have an informed conversation with your personal injury attorney.
Can My Doctor Serve as my Expert Witness?
Possibly. While your general physician has the medical training necessary to treat your injuries (or refer you to a specialist for more extensive treatment), they also may be too biased to testify in a severe accident case. A jury may need to hear from outside medical expert witnesses who do not have any personal investment or interest in your claim. Your personal doctor’s notes, records, and perception of your prognosis are undoubtedly valuable in your case. Ask an expert at 1-800-Ask-Gary to point you in the right direction if you have questions.
What Is an Accident Reconstruction Expert?
When the car accident occurred, you (and other witnesses) likely did not memorize what happened. Additionally, you and the other driver involved in the accident only see the accident from your limited perspective. An accident reconstructionist is a specific type of expert called in to show what happened during the accident. For example, did the other driver run a red light or fail to stop? Did you honk your horn or flash a turn signal that the other driver failed to see?
While they may seem insignificant, these little details can help the jury understand what happened. This can help the jury to determine fault (if it is unclear how the accident occurred) and the severity of the accident for all parties involved.
Who Are Accident Victims?
When you call 1 800 Ask Gary, you’ll learn that the victims of the accident aren’t just the parties who were driving the cars. For example, if you were driving and broke your leg in the accident, you can call yourself a victim. Other people riding in your vehicle and needing medical treatment due to the accident are also victims.
You should consider injuries, psychological distress, and lost wages when determining victimhood after a severe auto accident. A medical expert witness can assist the jury in placing victims of the accident into these categories and determining how severely the accident affected the life of each victim.
What Might Exclude an Expert’s Testimony?
Unfortunately, not all medical experts’ testimony is valid in every court case. Working with an attorney with extensive experience with your type of personal injury claim is important. A court may disregard, or exclude, a medical expert’s testimony in the following situations:
- The expert is not truly an expert: They do not have extensive subject knowledge of your type of injury (for example, a cardiologist speaking about a brain injury).
- The expert knows you personally: This may or may not include your general physician. It depends on your relationship with your doctor, how long they’ve been treating you, and how authoritatively they can speak about your injuries after the car crash.
- The expert presents controversial opinions: Controversial opinions may or may not result in the exclusion of your expert’s testimony. If the medical expert’s opinion is extremely subjective or based on already proven incorrect data, the jury may have to disregard it.
Contact 1 800 Ask Gary for More Information
The hours and days after a significant car accident can leave you in a whirlwind of information with little direction. Call 1-800-Ask-Gary to learn more about personal injury cases and determine whether your case needs a verified medical expert on board. With the right assistance, you’ll be able to get back to your life with the compensation you deserve.