This is the next post in a series of articles discussing bicycle accident cases in Laredo, Texas. My previous article discussed the discovery process and the important role it plays in such matters. Unlike courtroom dramas on television, lawyers do not simply stumble upon surprise evidence during a trial. Rather, using the various discovery methods available, lawyers for each party obtain objective evidence in support of their respective cases before the trial begins. An attorney with trial experience will understand how to navigate the discovery process and effectively present evidence to the jury on your behalf. This article will address the reasons that expert witnesses are commonly necessary in bicycle accident cases. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
In complex bicycle accident cases, particularly those in which the victim has suffered serious injuries, it often becomes necessary to present evidence involving specialized knowledge, training, or skill. In accordance with the rules of evidence, only individuals who are determined by the Court to be “experts,” may testify regarding such matters. For instance, a doctor who is a spinal injury specialist may be qualified to provide testimony about a victim’s spinal cord injury. For obvious reasons, an average individual without such expertise would not be considered credible and therefore not able to provide any meaningful testimony on such matters in Court.
Expert testimony can have a significant impact on jurors and on the ultimate outcome of a bike crash case. Consider the following example. A 30 year old man suffers a traumatic brain injury after his bike is hit by a truck. Just prior to the accident he became a partner at a prestigious accounting firm. After several surgeries and ongoing therapy, his physician is of the opinion that he will never fully recover. The doctor also believes that he will not likely be able to return to work as an accountant as a result of the permanent brain damage. At trial, the physician is an expert witness and presents his opinions to the jury. The victim’s attorney also engages a vocational expert and economist to testify regarding the potential future earnings he could have made had his career not been cut short by the injury.
The defense attorney employs their own expert witnesses to refute the opinions of the victim’s experts. First, they find a prominent physician in the field of brain injuries to review the victim’s medical records and the opinion of his treating physician. The doctor testifies that they have treated several patients with the same or similar injuries who have recovered and regained full brain function. In their opinion, the victim could potentially make a full recovery and return to work in the future. In addition, the defense presents expert testimony by another economist and vocational specialist who provide a much lower estimate of the victim’s lost future wages.
Ultimately, the jurors must evaluate the competing testimony and make the final determination about the victim’s damages. If they are confused by or do not understand potentially complicated expert testimony, it may impact their verdict. It is imperative, therefore, that your attorney has the ability to clearly present expert testimony to the jury on your behalf. I have extensive trial experience working with experts in personal injury matters and am ready to assist you. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact my office to speak with a lawyer. I serve clients in Laredo and other areas of south Texas.