Tips For Expert Witnesses In A Truck Accident Case
Does the law treat car and truck accidents differently? Yes, it does. In car accidents, the driver behind the steering wheel takes all liability because they have full ownership rights to their vehicles. When it comes to truck accidents, it gets complicated because each city abides by different state and local truck laws.
If you’ve recently suffered physical injuries due to a truck that hit you, then you really need an expert witness to help you win your lawsuit. Why? Because they will defend you based on scientific facts that are highly credible based on years of professional experience.
1. Types of expert witnesses
1. An independent qualified doctor
You need a doctor present during the hearing for three reasons. In order to get compensation from the defendant’s insurance company, a qualified doctor should explain how the collision attributed to the victim’s injuries. This means connecting every fracture, swelling, cuts, broken or dislodged teeth to the impact.
Your doctor will also confirm whether the medical reports you’ve presented in court are genuine. Why? Because some truck accident scammers work in cahoots with doctors to create false reports in order to receive high settlement checks. You also need a qualified doctor to assess whether you received the right medical treatment after the accident.
The third reason for having a doctor is to assess how the accident has affected your mental health. Perhaps the impact was so traumatic that you’ll need a full year of therapy to restore your mental health. Your doctor will explain how your deteriorated mental health affects your future income.
2. Accident reconstruction expert
An accident reconstruction expert uses scientific methods to determine the cause of an accident where there are disputes.
You’ve probably watched a CSI episode involving a couple of accident reconstruction experts linking hit-and-run drivers to crime scenes. Auto insurance companies rely on them to assess liabilities whenever clients file for compensations. One reason why you don’t hear much about reconstruction experts is they usually work secretly inside complex laboratories and report to lead investigators.
It’s advisable to always take several close-up photos of the accident scene using your phone. If you’re not badly injured, capture any skid marks caused by the truck. Take photos of nearby vehicles to prove that the driver changed lanes without warning. Move closer to the truck’s cabin to see if there are any alcoholic beverages or drug paraphernalia. Your accident reconstruction expert needs this information to create credible evidence.
3. Road Safety Expert
A road safety expert is someone who has academic and professional qualifications to assess the condition of roads and motor vehicles during and after accidents. A civil engineer is a good example of an expert witness because he or she understands how tarmac roads change in various weather conditions. If the defendant claims that the accident happened due to slippery roads, your road safety expert will be there to offer an informed report regarding the accident scene.
Who else can fit this role? A truck safety expert. He or she should have credible academic qualifications in mechanics, especially trucks. The truck safety expert should also display high experience in doing top-to-bottom inspections and fixing truck engines. He or she will determine whether the defendant had a faulty engine or bad suspension system that led to the accident.
4. An economist
Why do you need an economist? Because he or she assesses the impact of the accident on your financial health. An economist helps you to get a bigger settlement check by proving how the physical injuries sustained affect your productivity. For instance, if you need daily physical therapy for the next six months, then you’ll have to work for fewer hours than when you had a nine-to-five job.
An economist also compiles all the transportation costs that you’ll incur when attending doctor’s appointments during your period of recovery.
2. Three Tips when building a case with an expert witness
1. Don’t ignore the slightest injury
- Tell your doctor about every ache and pain you’ve experienced since the accident.
- Provide medical examination reports and a history of your doctor’s appointments. Why is this important? It enables a doctor to determine the extent to which these injuries affect your income.
- Your pain and suffering determine compensation from defendant’s insurance.
2. Always have your truck accident lawyer present when talking to the offender’s defense team
Insurance companies go through great measures to avoid paying compensation. So, the first thing they’ll do is try to make it seem like your actions contributed to the accident.
Is it wrong to talk to the defendant’s insurance company over the phone? Yes, it is because insurance adjusters record phone calls to find statements to use against the victim. Having a lawyer present prevents you from answering questions that might fix you in a bad spot. In this situation, the truck’s attorney cannot counter your expert witnesses’ testimony in court.
3. Stick to honesty
Avoid the temptation of lying in order to get a bigger settlement. Doing this can actually lower your actual compensation significantly. You also risk doing time behind bars for intentionally lying under oath.
If you had a beer or two before the accident, don’t lie about the breathalyzer readings. Inform your accident reconstructionist or driving safety expert about any mechanical issues that you had before the collision.
It’s up to you
It’s no secret that some auto insurance companies use tricks to get a plaintiff to admit liabilities in truck accidents. Fortunately, you can put up a strong defense by getting a couple of expert witnesses on your team.
We’ve understood that a road safety expert can identify the guilty party by assessing the road and vehicles’ conditions before the accident. Having one prevents you from getting duped into admitting that your car had mechanical issues.
You also need a qualified medical doctor to determine the long-term impact of your physical injuries. This is important to determine a good compensation deal because you won’t be able to reopen the case after both parties reach a settlement.
For all truck accident attorney in Atlanta cases Call our office immediately within 24 hours of the incident.