In construction accident cases, plaintiffs may benefit from having expert witnesses testify on their behalf. This is particularly true if a case involves complicated liability issues, catastrophic injuries, significant medical bills, and complex industry regulations.
Expert witnesses use their specialized knowledge to paint a clear picture for a judge and jury, helping them understand how and why an accident happened, as well as how the resulting injuries are likely to affect the plaintiff's employment prospects and quality of life. Experts can also provide valuable insight into one of the most important aspects of any personal injury case: liability.
If you sustained serious injuries in a construction accident that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to collect compensation for medical expenses related to the accident; wages lost by being unable to work while recovering from your injuries; pain and suffering, and other damages. Testimony from one or more expert witnesses may be able to help you build a stronger claim.
While there are dozens—if not hundreds—of expert witnesses available, a knowledgeable and experienced construction accident attorney can help you identify which experts could offer testimony most beneficial to your case.
How Eyewitnesses and Expert Witnesses Differ
Attorneys and plaintiffs may utilize testimony from two types of witnesses when building or presenting a construction accident case: eyewitnesses and expert witnesses.
Eyewitnesses are individuals who were there when the accident occurred and as a result, can testify as to what happened. In construction accident cases, eyewitnesses are likely to be other workers on the construction site.
Though they weren't present for the accident in question, testimony from expert witnesses may be even more valuable. These professionals draw upon specialized knowledge, education, training, or experience to shed light on a specific aspect of the case that relates to their expertise. Because expert witnesses are, as the name suggests, experts in their field, their testimony can carry significant weight with a jury.
Types of Expert Witnesses Used in Construction Accident Cases
The expert witnesses used in construction accident cases can be as different as the cases themselves. However, the most common types of expert witnesses to testify in construction accident cases include:
- Accident reconstructionists. When the how and why of a construction accident is in dispute, testimony from an accident reconstructionist can be absolutely invaluable. These professionals study a variety of evidence, including photos of the construction site, to determine exactly what happened.
- Doctors and other medical professionals. Testimony from medical experts is extremely important in cases where the plaintiff sustained significant, costly injuries that may require long-term treatment or ongoing care. Medical expert witnesses can provide juries with much-needed information on the plaintiff's diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, as well as discuss what, if any, impact the injuries will have on his or her ability to hold a job.
- Economists. Construction accidents can have severe financial consequences for the injured construction worker, such as astronomical medical expenses, lost wages and—in extreme cases—loss of earning potential. Economists can estimate the overall cost of such losses to help plaintiffs and juries determine the value of the claim.
- Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) consultants. OSHA is a small federal agency tasked with regulating workplace health and safety. Consultants or inspectors from the agency testify about any regulation violations that may have caused or contributed to a construction accident.
- Occupational health specialists. If injuries sustained in a construction accident render the victim unable to work, an occupational health specialist may be called to testify. These experts can help the jury understand how a plaintiff's injuries make it difficult or even impossible for him or her to complete job-related tasks.
Do You Need a Construction Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in a construction accident, McGartland Law Firm's award-winning legal team can help determine whether expert witness testimony could be beneficial to your particular case. Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation.