Accidents with commercial trucks are nearly always much more serious than accidents with passenger vehicles. Everything is worse – the intensity of the crash, the damage to your vehicle, and the severity of your injuries. When the accident wasn’t your fault, working out legal claims and financial compensation can be difficult and stressful, too. Depending on the circumstances of your truck crash, both state and federal regulations can be involved, as well as a variety of possible liable parties, and your injuries may be disabling or permanent.
Pursuing a successful Las Vegas truck accident claim requires an experienced attorney. Additionally, most claims also need expert witnesses to bolster their case – trained professionals in their field who testify and answer questions regarding the details of your accident and injuries. The lawyers at Claggett & Sykes have a well-curated network of expert witnesses who can work to strengthen your case after a serious truck accident.
What is an expert witness?
During a trial, not just anyone can show up to court and give a statement. Witnesses must be called by the court, and must be qualified to testify. Witnesses and expert witnesses are different:
- A witness can be just about anyone testifying about events they observed or heard firsthand – perhaps someone who saw your truck accident happen, or witnessed the truck driver driving erratically right before the crash occurred. One important thing to remember about witnesses is that they are quite limited in what opinions they can give to the court and generally must stick to the facts on what they observed.
- An expert witness, on the other hand, has specialized knowledge, skills, and training that allows them to offer their professional opinion about a truck accident to a judge and/or jury. Although expert witnesses didn’t observe the incident personally, they have the expertise to extrapolate certain conclusions from information and data available and provide an informed opinion to assist the court in making a decision.
What does an expert witness do?
Determining who is liable for your truck accident injuries and losses often proves much more difficult than in a typical Las Vegas car accident. Commercial truck accidents not only tend to involve breaking traffic laws, but also federal trucking industry regulations. Tractor-trailers are also huge vehicles, working with different mechanics, different technologies, and different safety procedures than passenger cars and trucks.
All of these considerations may be difficult for a jury member to take into consideration – and that’s where expert witnesses come in. Experts explain commercial truck accidents and concepts in a way the everyday person can understand. An expert witness can demonstrate to a jury how a Las Vegas truck accident happened, why it happened, the chain of events leading up to it, and who should be held responsible. A medical expert witness can explain the full extent of your injuries, how they’ll affect you going forward, and the financial compensation to which you’re entitled.
An expert witness can provide information to the jury that they’d have no way of knowing themselves without years and years of specialized training.
What kinds of expert witnesses are available for my accident case?
Our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys may call on a variety of expert witnesses, depending on the circumstances of your case. In the past, we’ve utilized experts in the following areas:
- Accident reconstruction, to reconstruct a truck crash to help determine fault.
- Financial, to determine the expenses caused by your accident (medical bills, lost wages, etc.).
- Forensic toxicology, to prove a link between a trucker’s alcohol/drug impairment and the accident.
- Mechanics, to demonstrate whether a truck’s mechanical failure or defect led to the accident.
- Medicine, to show the entire scope of your injuries, as well as the treatment and support you’ll need for the rest of your life.
- Pathology, to determine the cause of wrongful death in a fatal truck crash.
- Psychology, to demonstrate the emotional and psychological scars of your accident.
- Roadway design, if roadway defects or improper traffic signals may have contributed to your truck accident.
- Trucking safety investigation, which can show that the trucking company or at-fault truck driver had previous safety violations.
- Vocational rehabilitation/employment, to demonstrate your loss of wages and earning capacity due to your injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at Claggett & Sykes understand which expert witnesses are appropriate for your case and how to prepare and questions them properly.
What DOESN’T an expert witness do?
It’s important to remember there are several things an expert witness can’t do for you. Expert witnesses may not:
- Offer any advice regarding your case.
- Provide any opinions outside their area of expertise.
- Defend or debate the case at hand.
- Negotiate on your or your attorney’s behalf.
- Accept any case where there’s any conflict of interest.
- Accept any case on conditional terms.
Can I use an expert witness if I don’t go to court?
Yes. Our Las Vegas attorneys can use expert witnesses during the negotiation and settlement process. If necessary, we can call on expert witnesses as we build your claim to ensure you have the strongest possible case. This gives you leverage with the insurance companies and the trucking company right from the start – showing them we mean business and we intend to go to trial if they don’t play fair.
If you’ve been injured in a commercial truck accident, talk to the Las Vegas attorneys at Claggett & Sykes today. The sooner we can start building your case, the better the chances for a successful outcome. We’ll work to help you secure financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our team has secured millions of dollars on behalf of the injured in Nevada, and we want to help you, too.
Schedule a free consultation with a Las Vegas injury lawyer today by calling 702-333-7777, or by filling out our contact form. Or, if you’ve been injured in northern Nevada, call our Reno injury lawyers at 775-322-2923.
We are not simply a personal injury firm. We are trial lawyers who take on catastrophic injury, brain injury, and wrongful death cases. These cases are different than most personal injury cases and the needs of these cases cannot be met by law firms that take on just any case.
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