This is the next post in a series of articles discussing bicycle accident litigation in Hartford, Connecticut. Our previous article discussed the importance of the discovery process in such cases. Using tools such as interrogatories, depositions, and subpoenas, the lawyers for each party can gather evidence to be used throughout the litigation process. Attorneys must comply with strict rules and procedures when gathering and presenting evidence on their client’s behalf. It is imperative, therefore, to retain a law firm with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate this process. In this article, we will discuss why one or more expert witnesses may be necessary in bicycle accident cases. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
When presenting evidence to the Court that is based upon specialized knowledge, training, or skill, the rules of evidence require that information be obtained from an “expert” in the applicable field. An individual’s expertise in the relevant subject matter must be verified by the Court before their testimony will be considered. For instance, if an attorney wishes to obtain testimony from a neurologist rendering an opinion on an accident victim’s brain injury, they must first establish that the doctor has the appropriate education and credentials to give credible evidence on that point. An average individual, on the other hand, would not be permitted to provide such testimony. Other examples of experts may include accident reconstructionists, economists, therapists, etc. Expert testimony, like other witness testimony, may be used to help establish or oppose key evidence either in settlement negotiations or during a trial.
It is not uncommon for parties in bicycle crash cases to engage one or more expert witnesses to support their case. Particularly in complex cases where liability for the accident is disputed and where the victim’s injuries are severe, experts can play an important role. For instance, in a case where the parties’ accounts of the facts are inconsistent, one or both sides may retain an accident reconstructionist to recreate the scene and provide an expert opinion regarding the cause of the crash. As previously mentioned, physician testimony may be required to confirm the victim’s injuries and their long-term medical prognosis. For example, if the victim suffers a spinal cord injury, their doctor may anticipate years of expensive medical treatment and provide testimony on the types of treatments and related costs of the care. The defense may retain their own expert physician who disagrees with that prognosis and offers an alternative view of the victim’s situation. Similarly, vocational experts or individuals with financial expertise may be called upon to testify about the victim’s loss of future earnings as a result of their injuries.
Expert opinions can significantly impact how jurors decide a case. To be persuasive, however, jurors must be able to understand the complex theories and terms that are often employed by such witnesses. A skilled lawyer will understand how to effectively communicate such information to the jurors at trial. Our Hartford attorneys are experienced in bicycle accident cases and are ready to assist you. We also serve the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, West and East Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.