Who Could be Expert Witnesses in New York Car Accident Cases?

Who may be legally responsible for a car accident and what injuries were caused by who in a collision is not always a straight forward issue.  Insurance companies may fight battles dominated by experts in order to show that an accident could not have caused the injury claimed by the victim.

In order to ensure your right to just compensation is properly pursued, an experienced Hudson car accident attorney should be retained.  Experts in fields such as accident reconstruction, biomechanical engineering, and crashworthiness might need to be consulted so that your experienced attorney will prevail over the arguments made by insurance company lawyers.

It is the expert’s job to analyze complicated issues, draw conclusions, and explain their opinions at trial for the jurors and judge.  The expert may make determinations about:

  • the speeds of the vehicles at the time of collision;
  • the forces involved on human beings in a low speed impact, or
  • how injuries cause disabilities which may affect a person’s earnings over his or her life.  

An experienced attorney will help maximize your recovery by choosing the right type of expert to use in each case.  Accidents can result in medical expenses, lost income, lost wages, lost time from work, and can cause serious and life-threatening injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even death.  This requires a wide-range of possible experts.  Thus, in car accident cases, the most common types of experts utilized are:

Using Your Treating Physicians and Specialists to Explain your Injuries and Limitations: Medical Experts

You, as the injured party, will have your treating physician as the “medical expert” in any case where personal injuries are sustained.  Your treating physician will explain to the jury the anatomy and pathology of your injuries, how serious they are, and what pain and suffering would be expected to accompany them.  Your treating physician will also speak to the future medical treatment that you will need, as well as the prognosis and effects on your ability to work and enjoy social and recreational activities in which you once participated. 

What Wages you Lost and Will Lose in the Future: Economists

Economic experts will calculate the value of the income you lost as a result of your injuries, as well as the value of future medical expenses that are necessary to resolve your injuries.  This expert will also consider the value of lost promotions, inflation, rising cost of medical care, lost pension benefits, in addition to many other issues that may be unique to your case.

The Type of Care you Will Need in the Future: Rehabilitation Specialists

Physical therapists, occupational therapists, case managers, social workers and vocational specialists, each an expert in their respective field, may be used to determine and explain the injuries you sustained and how they will impact your ability to work in the future.  This expert will consider a number of things such as: if you will, or will not, be able to return to your former employment; if you can be reeducated or retrained in another occupation; how many hours a day and for how many years you will be able to work given the extent of your injuries; when you will be able to return to employment, and what future limitations you may have on your ability to work. 

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How and Why the Accident Happened: Accident Reconstructionists

This expert will use physical, testimonial, and other evidence to reconstruct the car accident.  They will conclude the speed of the vehicles involved in the accident, the forces created in the collision, visibility of other vehicles, geographic limitations such as hills, curves, or vegetation, and what views each driver would have had leading up to the collision.  The “reconstruction” will sometimes be completed by using sophisticated computer software, sometimes creating 3D animation of the accident. 

Are there other Defects in the Roadway that Caused your Injury: Engineering Experts

The engineering expert is used when there are possible claims of a defective roadway or inadequate signage.  This expert has an intimate understanding of the state and federal guidelines on roadway design and construction. 

Another type of engineering expert, called a biomechanical expert, has training in anatomy, physiology, and determines the angels and magnitude of forces necessary to cause injury.  This expert may also testify as to how vehicle restraint systems protect occupants and how well vehicle structures (roof, welds, occupant compartments) protect the driver and passengers. 

The attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle car accident cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a free case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.

Posted on December 19, 2013 .