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What Is an Expert Witness in a Car Accident Case?

Posted in Auto Accidents

A car accident case is an insurance claim or lawsuit that pursues financial compensation for losses connected to a crash, such as medical bills and vehicle repairs. Unfortunately, it is not always easy for an accident victim in New Mexico to recover compensation from an at-fault party through a claim. The insurance company may need substantial evidence to prove its client’s liability for the car accident. A complex car accident case may require an expert witness.

Expert Witnesses in a Car Accident Cases

What Is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is someone hired to testify during a personal injury claim. It is not someone related to the car accident victim or an eyewitness who saw the crash happen. Instead, it is someone who qualifies as an expert in his or her subject based on years of training, education and experience. It is a knowledgeable professional that can lend key insights into a complicated aspect of your car accident case. If you are trying to prove losses connected to a catastrophic injury, for example, an expert medical witness could help you establish your grounds for compensation.

Expert witnesses are not a legal requirement during car accident cases in New Mexico. It is an optional expense you may wish to take on for a stronger claim to damages as a plaintiff. Hiring an expert witness could help your car accident claim succeed if an insurance company or jury is confused about a key point, such as how the car accident occurred. Testimony from an expert witness can help the jury understand something critical to the success of your case, leading to a more positive outcome.

What Are Different Types of Expert Witnesses?

There is not only one type of expert witness in civil law, but many different types, all with unique specialties. The right expert witness to hire will depend on the circumstances and needs of your case. If someone is disputing how the car accident took place, for instance, you may need a crash reconstructionist rather than a medical expert to testify on your behalf. A car accident attorney in Albuquerque can help you determine and locate the correct type of expert witness for your particular case.

  • Medical expert
  • Accountant
  • Forensic accountant
  • Crash engineer
  • Crash reconstructionist
  • Mental health expert
  • Vocational expert
  • Traffic safety expert

An expert witness will answer questions and clarify the facts of a case, either during pretrial depositions or as a witness who takes the stand during a car accident trial. The other side of the case, the defense, will have the chance to cross-examine the expert witness your lawyer hires. The information an expert witness provides based on his or her unique expertise in a certain field could help you win your case. It can help a judge or jury understand the evidence, determine a fact and form an opinion in your favor. If your case could benefit from hiring an expert witness, your Albuquerque car accident lawyer can help you find the right one. Your lawyer may also help you cover the costs.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Expert Witness?

The cost of hiring an expert witness during your car accident case can be substantial. An expert’s time is not cheap. The average expert charges about $250 to $500 per hour of his or her time. This can include time spent reading over the facts of the case as well as time on the witness stand. Luckily, most personal injury law firms will pay the fees of hiring an expert upfront, and then seek reimbursement for these costs from a settlement or judgment award won. That way, you do not have to afford an expert witness’s fees out of your own pocket. Discuss hiring an expert witness, along with the related costs, for your car accident case with a car accident attorney in Albuquerque for more information.