The Importance of Expert Witnesses in Massachusetts Car Accident Lawsuits

Car accident victims who hope to recover compensation for their injuries from a negligent motorist must be able to provide the court with evidence supporting their theory of fault and liability. Massachusetts plaintiffs can meet their burden by presenting police reports, medical records, eyewitness accounts, and expert testimony. Whether expert testimony is required (or even allowed) largely depends on the particular facts of the accident and the issues that are involved.

Expert witnesses are a valuable resource in personal injury lawsuits because these witnesses can provide specialized opinions based on technical knowledge that typically goes beyond the scope of knowledge of a layperson. Attorneys frequently utilize expert witnesses in personal injury lawsuits to support a client’s position. Some common types of expert witnesses are accident reconstructionists, city planners, toxicologists, and medical examiners.

Expert witnesses are generally people who possess education, experience, and training in a particular field relevant to the issues at hand. When qualifying a professional as an expert, courts will look at factors such as the individual’s academic background and peer-reviewed publications, as well as their professional experience, recognition, and reputation. Expert witness testimony is presumed to be unbiased based on their specialized knowledge, and courts will permit their opinions as long as they meet certain criteria. Experts’ opinions must assist the judge or jury in understanding the evidence, and an opinion must be based on the facts of the case and research conducted by the expert. Notably, the expert’s methods must be trustworthy, and the processes must have been appropriately applied to the present issue. When an expert is necessary, plaintiffs must retain a qualified expert to ensure that the court permits their opinion.

For example, a recent state appellate opinion addressed issues regarding an expert witness’ methods in a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, the plaintiff presented an accident reconstructionist’s expert opinion to support his claim that the defendant was negligent. The defendant moved to dismiss the expert’s testimony, alleging that the expert’s report did not provide sufficient calculations or data to support his opinions. The trial court found that the expert’s report was inadequate and was not a product of “reliable principles and methods.” The plaintiff appealed this ruling, and the appellate court evaluated the expert’s methods and found that his opinions were based on a thorough investigation and common mathematics relevant to the collision at issue. Ultimately, the appellate court found that the trial court abused its discretion by disqualifying the expert, and it remanded the case for a new trial.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Massachusetts car accident, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C. They have over two decades of experience advocating on behalf of Massachusetts victims. They have frequently utilized expert witnesses and have access to some of the most prominent professionals across the country.  Clients of the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C. have recovered substantial compensation awards for the injuries that they suffered due to another party’s negligence. Compensation in car accident cases typically includes payments for past medical bills, future medical expenses, property damage, and any pain and suffering caused by the accident. Contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C. today at 800-262-9200 to schedule a free consultation.

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