Role of Expert Witnesses in a Fort Worth Wrongful Death Claim
The unexpected loss of a loved one can take a toll on a family. The loss can not only emotionally affect a family but financially impact them as well. Fortunately, the injured party can seek justice for their loss. A compassionate wrongful death attorney could help a family hold the careless party accountable for their loved one’s death.
To help prove your case, an attorney could collect evidence and seek help from skilled expert witnesses. A diligent lawyer could explain the role of expert witnesses in a Fort Worth wrongful death claim and how they could help your specific situation. Let a local wrongful death attorney help you seek to get the maximum compensation and push for all damages that you are due under Texas law.
The Various Types of Expert Witnesses
Depending on the specific situation and accident, there are various types of expert witnesses that could be used in a case. The most common experts referenced in Fort Worth wrongful death cases are liability experts, causation experts, and damage experts.
Liability experts are certain experts that may be necessary to help prove that the defendant was responsible for the incident, which caused the person’s death. Numerous experts may be able to help the defendant’s liability or negligence. Usually the person’s field of expertise would depend on the circumstances that lead to the accident that caused the death. Examples of liability experts include those in the fields of accident reconstruction, engineering, biomechanical engineering, medicine, and physics.
In the case of a motor vehicle accident that caused another person’s death, for example, if there was a dispute about who caused the accident, the wrongful death attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist expert to review the facts and circumstances of the collision and offer an opinion about exactly how the accident occurred. This expert would usually want to visit the scene of the accident, take measurements and photographs, and collect any other evidence to help determine how the accident happened.
Sometimes an expert witness is legally necessary to establish liability or negligence in the wrongful death case. This is true for medical malpractice cases. Oftentimes, the law requires that a medical expert is necessary to prove that a deceased’s physician violated the standard of care in some fashion, which led to that patient’s death.
Causation experts are needed if there is a dispute about how the deceased actually died. Often, this dispute arises in medical negligence or malpractice case. For example, the deceased may have had other medical conditions or injuries that could have caused the death. In many situations, a medical expert like a pathologist or coroner may be necessary to establish the cause of death. Another autopsy or forensic examination of the body may be necessary.
Damage experts in a wrongful death case address the issue of damages. There may be several different types or classifications of damages that may be sought in a wrongful death case, depending on the facts of the case and the legal issues involved. An experienced wrongful death lawyer would hire the best experts to help uncover and explain certain evidence, which increases the likelihood of a successful result.
How Can An Expert Witness Help Calculate Damages
An expert witness plays a role in the context of appraising damages in Fort Worth wrongful death action. Expert witness and expert testimony could help the attorney prove one or more of the elements of the action. Wrongful death cases could involve many different issues that are often complex and difficult to prove. An experienced wrongful death attorney would usually want to engage the assistance of one or more experts.
The classification of damages falls into both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those hard or tangible damages that are usually easier to calculate, like lost wages, medical expenses, future income loss, or lost net accumulations to the deceased’s estate. One of the most common types of damages requested in a wrongful death case is a claim for the deceased’s future lost earnings or the future net loss accumulation to the person’s estate. A vocational expert may be necessary to help establish the deceased’s lost income and future occupational events and opportunities. An economist or accountant may be necessary to calculate the present value of the future lost earnings based on the deceased’s occupation at the time of death, anticipated future promotions, personal savings, and consumption right.
When using experts to calculate economic damages, it is often important to involve the expert early on in the case. It is also important to furnish the expert with all the necessary documentation required for them to form an opinion. For instance, when calculating future lost earnings, the expert might need to review several different types of records involving employment, tax, educational, medical, bank, insurance, or other financial documents.
The second category of damages consists of non-economic damages. It refers to those subjective or intangible losses that are usually more difficult to quantify. They include pain and suffering, grief and the loss of the deceased’s love, society, companionship, and affection. It is often wise to retain one or more experts to address or discuss these types of damages.
Wrongful Death Of A Child
In a case involving the wrongful death of a child, for example, the parents would likely suffer a substantial amount of psychological distress and suffering. In this situation, it may be beneficial to use a psychological expert like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health therapist to discuss the parent’s loss of their child. There may be long-term emotional issues that surviving parents and children face as a result of losing a loved one prematurely. Using an expert to discuss, explain, and highlight those losses may be very helpful to explaining the parent’s loss to the jury.
Seek Advice From A Local Wrongful Death Attorney
Following the unexpected death of a loved one, you should reach out to a seasoned attorney. A lawyer could help prove all elements of your case with the help of expert witnesses. Sometimes the success of the case hinges on the credibility and knowledge of the experts involved. It is extremely important that an attorney have substantial experience in handling wrongful death cases as well as knowledge of the different types of experts that may be necessary to achieve a successful result.
There are many roles of expert witnesses in a Fort Worth wrongful death claim. An expert witness could help determine the cause of the collision, prove negligence, and help calculate your damages. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case.