This is the next post in our series on the handling of commercial truck accident cases in Hartford, Connecticut. Our last article discussed the need for discovery in cases involving a semi-truck. If discovery is not properly conducted, then it may be possible that a Plaintiff will go without needed evidence at trial or that they may even fail to name all the possible defendants. These are just some reasons why it is important to retain an experienced attorney. In this article we will discuss the use of expert witnesses in such matters. If you or a loved one have been injured then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Connecticut’s rules of evidence require the use of expert witnesses in matters which involve complicated issues. “Lay people” are not allowed to testify in regards to facts involving specialized skills, knowledge, training, or experience. When such issues arise, each side will retain an expert. These professionals will fully examine the matter, issue a written report, and, if necessary, testify before the jury. When deciding a case, the jurors will decide which experts, if any, should be believed. The jurors will also decide the weight which is to be given to a given expert’s testimony.
There are multiple instances in which an expert may be required to testify in a trucking accident case. The first is in regards to the issue of liability. The truck’s driver, owner, and operators may each be liable under various causes of action if they failed to follow the standards of their industry. Such standards may include the safety practices employed by the driver, the hiring practices of the owner, and the policies of any third-party operation companies. An expert in such matters would likely be an individual with many years of experience in the trucking industry. Such an individual would review all company records relating to the maintenance of the truck, review the driving log records, review evidence of the driver’s history, and review any other relevant information. The expert would then render an opinion as to the cause of the accident, or as to their findings of negligence on the part of any defendants.
Medical experts are also necessary when it comes to describing a victim’s injuries. A treating physician can testify as to the treatment which they have rendered, and the need for future care and the expected cost of such treatment. In providing these opinions, the treating physician is acting as an expert witness. The defendants have the right to also hire a medical professional who will conduct an Independent Medical Examination (IME) in order to evaluate the victim. The defense IME professional will then issue a report which is usually in contradiction to the Plaintiff’s physician. Again, the jury will decide which expert to believe and how much weight to give each expert. It is extremely important for the Plaintiff to have the right experts available to testify as to each injury. An experienced lawyer will build the Plaintiff’s case brick by brick or rather expert by expert.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a Hartford trucking accident, then it is important that you retain a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with expert witnesses. Failing to properly utilize such professionals can potentially make the difference as to whether or not damages are recovered. Our lawyers have been serving the community for decades and we have standing relationships with the types of professionals who will be needed in such a case. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.