When to Name Expert Witnesses in an Accident Case

Car accident lawyers fighting for injured victims have an uphill battle to climb in many respects. Public opinion has turned on victims in 2020, and judges and juries often assume when a car accident victim walks in the door that he/she is exaggerating their injuries.

So smart Maryland accident lawyers take the benefits that the system provides for their clients. A big advantage plaintiffs’ lawyers have is that they are better able to dictate the pace of the progression of a motor vehicle accident case.

File Your Expert Designation with Your Lawsuits

Some Maryland accident lawyers squander this great opportunity by failing to fully load the gun before firing it by filing an accident lawsuit. When filing a lawsuit, our accident lawyer serves the defendant with the Complaint, Interrogatories, Requests for Admission, Request for Production of Documents, and Expert Designation. It is more work and requires you to be more proactive but helps you down the road – it is one more deadline you will need to meet down the road. In this regard, the road to legal malpractice is paved with lawyers who missed expert deadlines.

Double Check Your Answers at the Expert Deadline

Still, make sure you put a deadline to name experts on your discovery calendar and later check the designated experts to make sure you do not need additional experts for trial. Often, at the beginning of a case, you will not believe you will require the testimony of an economist or a vocational rehabilitation expert, but you later find out that you do. Similarly, if your client is still treating, you might need to name additional treating doctors.

Why Do I Need an Expert in an Auto Accident Case in Maryland?

You need an expert witness in a car accident if you are in a court and jurisdiction that requires a medical expert to connect the victim’s injuries and the motor vehicle crash at issue. You do not need an expert witness if you are suing for less than $30,000 in Maryland. There is a mechanism to introduce the medical records and bills without an expert. If you are suing for more than $30,000 you need a medical expert to testify that the injuries were caused by the accident. The medical expert – make it a medical doctor to be safe – must testify that thee medical bills for which you seek reimbursement were fair, reasonable, and causally related to the crash.

Does a Doctor-Expert Have to Be Certain of Her Opinions?

A medical expert must testify to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that their opinion is correct. This means that it is more likely than not.

Do I Need an Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness?

Expert testimony from accident reconstruction experts is often offered at trial in car accident cases. These experts provide testimony of the participants’ visibility, reaction and break times, speed, and so forth. Whether you need an accident reconstruction expert in your case depends upon the facts of your claim.

What Is an Example Expert Opinion in a Car Accident?

Here is a sample expert opinion in a car accident case: Sandy Smithson MD, and Mika Juno, MD, and/or other personnel of Caremount Medical, 30 Columbia St. Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 are experts in orthopedic medicine. They are expected to testify regarding the treatment rendered to the Plaintiff following a car crash on Pratt Street in Baltimore, Maryland on January 4, 2020.

They will testify that there is a causal relationship between the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle collision and Plaintiff’s post-motor vehicle collision medical treatment and that bills generated from Plaintiff’s medical treatment are fair, reasonable, and causally connected to the subject motor vehicle collision. These experts will also testify that the injuries sustained by Plaintiff as a result of the motor vehicle collision are permanent, and that due to the nature of the injuries sustained by Plaintiff as a result of the motor vehicle collision, future expenses, treatment, and surgical procedures, including related therapy and rehabilitation, may be reasonably expected to occur.

These experts may further opine that Plaintiff’s pre-existing condition was aggravated/exacerbated by the motor vehicle collision.  These causation opinions will be based on the date of motor vehicle collision, the fact that Plaintiff received medical and ambulatory treatment immediately following the motor vehicle collision, the fact that she needed follow-up appointments and care because of the motor vehicle collision, and based further on the change, for the worse, in Plaintiff’s medical condition and the severity of her treatment, injuries, and physical limitations following the motor vehicle collision as compared to prior to the motor vehicle collision, in that Plaintiff received additional care and treatment and new types of care and treatment following the motor vehicle collision and the health and condition of her injured body parts deteriorated following the motor vehicle collision.

These experts will further testify that Plaintiff’s injuries comport with the mechanics of the incident as described by Plaintiff, namely a rear-end collision, based on the nature of the injury, Plaintiff’s testimony regarding the incident, and the correlating injury related symptoms following the incident. These experts may further testify regarding the condition and health of the Plaintiff before the subject occurrence, and her baseline health in the injured body parts before the happening of the occurrence.  Plaintiff reserves the right to use anatomical models, demonstrative medical illustrations, medical diagrams, and demonstrative video imaging of Plaintiff’s injuries and any surgeries or procedures following the motor vehicle collision. This evidence would be introduced through expert testimony to assist the finder of fact in understanding the expert’s opinions.  Any expert’s opinion will be based upon review of the medical records, relevant deposition transcripts, treatment and examination of Plaintiff, the history taken from Plaintiff, additional records or testimony describing Plaintiff’s physical limitations, medical literature, and years of experience and medical training. Plaintiff incorporates all of the medical records as though fully set forth herein.