Every year, tens of thousands of motorists are affected by commercial vehicle accidents. These accidents occur for a variety of reasons, but pinpointing the exact cause is not always simple. Truck accidents happen quickly and involve many thousands of pounds of force. The aftermath of a truck crash scene can be quite surreal to witness and often leaves many more questions than answers about how the accident occurred.
While the cause of the crash is sometimes obvious, other times it is not. Truckers and other motorists may have different versions of the event. In all personal injury cases, an injured victim bears the burden of proof on the elements of their claim. In order to carry this burden of proof it is sometimes necessary to engage the services of an expert witness. Experts play many roles in truck accident cases. In this article, we will take a look at how an expert might help if you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident.
If you or a loved one believe that you have a claim after a truck accident, it is always best to contact a skilled national truck accident attorney right away. At Burg Simpson, we are always standing by to take your call and assist you in any way possible after a truck accident.
Legally, an expert witness is defined as a witness who has specialized or other technical knowledge that is relevant to a case. An expert is allowed to testify from their knowledge and experience in order to help educate the judge and jury on the particular facts about which they are testifying. In cases where facts are disputed or at issue, an expert’s testimony about a particular topic may be especially compelling as the judge or jury seeks to find the facts of the case.
Under federal law, an expert may be qualified to testify in a case if their testimony holds up under what is known as the Daubert standard. Under the Daubert standard, the court looks at the expert’s testimony to determine whether their theory is the subject of reliable principles and methods and whether the testimony would assist the court or the jury. If the expert passes the Daubert test, they are then allowed to present their opinions at trial.
In a truck accident case, there are two areas that are typically challenged by the defendant. First, a truck driver or motor carrier company may challenge whether their driver was at fault in the collision. In some states, any amount of fault on behalf of the injured victim will completely prohibit their right to recover. Still, in other states, fault by the injured victim will only reduce their recovery.
In any event, the legal fault for the accident is a frequently challenged issue. Expert witnesses can assist with this determination by looking carefully at the accident and how it occurred. Using scientific principles and other reliable methods, an expert examines the crash scene and other information. Using this information, they will come to a conclusion about how the accident took place.
In many instances, plaintiffs will want to utilize a truck crash reconstruction expert to assist them in piecing together the events leading up to the accident. This type of testimony and evidence can be very compelling at a trial, especially in cases where liability is at issue.
Aside from determining liability, an expert can also help with the issue of damages. All victims who were injured in a truck crash must present evidence showing the extent of their losses. Medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of future lost earnings are all issues that can be explored.
Experts such as economists can be brought in following a truck crash. These experts can look at your overall situation and determine the extent to which the crash harmed your economically. In cases of very serious injuries, an economist or other similar expert can conduct an analysis of your lost wages and lost economic opportunities over a period of several years. This information is then presented to the jury in a clear, concise, and understandable format.
In some instances, truck crashes are caused by poor maintenance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides a list of regulatory and safety standards governing truckers and truck companies. Among the rules enacted by the FMCSA includes required routine maintenance and inspection of commercial trucks on interstate highways.
When a truck crash occurs, one common culprit is poor maintenance. An expert mechanic will thoroughly examine the truck following the accident to look for signs of poor or omitted maintenance. In these cases, proper maintenance may have prevented the crash from occurring.
An experienced mechanic as an expert witness can look at the truck in order to determine if your accident could have been prevented with proper inspection and maintenance. Violations of FMCSA regulations make up a very substantial portion of truck accident litigation.
Being hurt in a truck crash is a very catastrophic experience. Victims of these accidents can experience serious injuries that can result in lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and loss of ability to perform daily activities. Following a truck accident, it is important to receive compensation that will make you whole and will help restore the life that you enjoyed prior to the accident. In highly-contested truck accident cases, having a valued and experienced expert witness can ensure that you receive an appropriate settlement.
At Burg Simpson, our national truck accident lawyers have a team of the very best expert witnesses at our disposal. We always utilize experts when it will benefit your case. You can count on our team to protect your legal rights every step of the way.
We always offer free consultations for all potential and prospective clients. There is no financial obligation until we obtain a recovery on your behalf. To speak with one of our lawyers, please contact us using our online intake form or give us a call at (866) 637-1207.