Do I Need a Witness for My Personal Injury Case?
If you are taking your personal injury claim to court or are trying to negotiate a settlement, a witness can be an asset to your case. Witnesses help establish what happened, explain who is at fault, talk about your credibility, and also provide insight into the future impact of the accident or value of the claim. Having a favorable witness can lead to a positive outcome in your case, and ultimately, better compensation for your personal injury claim.
A witness is anyone with firsthand, factual knowledge about your case. In personal injury cases, there are primarily two types of witnesses. First is a lay witness, also known as a fact witness or an ordinary witness. The second type is an expert witness. The difference between these two witnesses is the information they testify about in court.
What is a Lay Witness?
A lay witness testifies about what they observe with their senses. They can talk about what they saw at the scene of the accident, like the road conditions or how the parties were behaving at the time. They can discuss anything they heard on the scene, such as distracting noises or music. A lay witness may also testify about what they smelled at the scene. For example, they might talk about smelling drugs or alcohol or spilled fluids.
A lay witness can also testify about the claimant’s medical conditions or general health before of after the accident. They can also discuss the claimant’s quality of life and level of abilities before or after the accident.
Lay witnesses can be friends, family members, co-workers, bystanders, company employees, the police officer who responded to the scene, or the doctor who diagnosed and treated the injuries. Essentially, it can be anyone connected to the case who can share their insights into what happened or who may be at fault.
What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is someone with expertise in a particular subject matter who helps the jury understand the accident or injury. Utilizing their technical skills and experience, expert witnesses paint the picture of what happened. They can also discuss who is responsible or negligent, as well as what problems the injuries might cause in the future. Expert witnesses unpack complicated medical or scientific information for the court. They do not have any personal connection to the case. An expert witness can be an accident investigator, toxicologist, product expert, pharmaceutical scientist, health care provider, medical billing expert, or even an economic expert. Their experience and their ability to explain the accident or injury can be critical in proving how much the case is worth.
Working With Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Both lay witnesses and expert witnesses can bring key insights to your case and can help prove the value of your claim. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney ensures that you can obtain witness statements and that you have the right expert witness for your case. The accident lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill know how to work with both lay witnesses and expert witnesses. We make sure all the important details are covered and that we can obtain the best results in your case.
Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have additional questions about witnesses or if you need help with your personal injury case, call the Macon, Ga. accident attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill. We have experience in all types of personal injury cases, and we offer free consultations.