Witnesses can play an important role in any Louisville personal injury case. Depending upon whether or not an insurance company is disputing liability in a personal injury case, witnesses can be helpful in proving the defendant’s breach of the applicable duty of care, the extent and amount of the plaintiff’s damages, or both.
There are generally two types of witnesses who testify in a Louisville personal injury case:
- Lay witnesses
- Expert witnesses
If you have sustained personal injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is essential that you have an experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer representing you at every stage of your case.
An experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you with gathering the necessary evidence, including witness testimony, to prove your case and maximize the amount of your damages.
Lay Witness Testimony
Lay witnesses are non-experts and are usually individuals who were eyewitnesses to the accident. In a car accident case – especially in cases where an insurance company is disputing liability (or fault) – lay witnesses can testify about the speeds and directions of vehicles, temperature and weather conditions at the scene, traffic conditions at the scene, lane markings, visibility conditions, observations made at the scene, statements that were made by either the plaintiff or the defendant at the scene, and the presence (or absence) of traffic control devices at the scene, such as traffic lights or stop signs.
In a disputed liability case, the testimony of a lay witness can be helpful to the plaintiff in proving who was at fault for the accident.
Expert Witness Testimony
Expert witnesses are those witnesses who possess some form of specialized knowledge, training, and/or experience. The party who is introducing the expert witness testimony will normally have to qualify the witness as an expert and name any potential expert witnesses prior to trial.
In car accident cases, the most common examples of expert witnesses are health care providers (such as doctors), medical specialists, accident reconstructionists, and economists.
Health care providers can testify about the cause, nature, and extent of an injured plaintiff’s medical conditions and injuries following an accident.
They can also testify about permanent injuries and damages which the plaintiff sustained as a direct and proximate result of the accident – and whether or not the plaintiff will likely require any medical procedures in the future, such as injections or surgeries.
When liability is in dispute, an accident reconstructionist can shed some light on how the accident happened and who was to blame for causing it.
In cases where an injured plaintiff misses time from work as a direct result of the accident and the plaintiff’s subsequent injuries and damages, the plaintiff may be entitled to lost wage damages.
In some cases – especially when the plaintiff had an irregular work schedule or fluctuating wages – an economist may be helpful in calculating the amount of the plaintiff’s lost wages and damages.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Depending upon the facts and circumstances, personal injury cases can be difficult to prove, and witness testimony (both lay and expert) is necessary.
An experienced Louisville personal injury lawyer will be able to interview potential witnesses and help you to obtain the testimony you need in order to prevail at a personal injury trial and maximize the amount of your recovery. You should feel free to contact us at any time, via telephone or email, for an initial consultation.