The old notion “you have to spend money to make money” doesn’t seem fair when you are dealing with an injury caused by another party’s negligence. However, there are a few reasons why hiring a medical expert to provide an opinion about your injury is sometimes necessary and can help you win your case.
Why? Primarily because a medical expert can provide an opinion that becomes evidence in support of your case, which can completely change the strength of your position during settlement negotiations or at trial. Plus, your lawyer will initially cover the cost of an expert, so you do not need to worry about the cost being prohibitive and shy away from using an expert whose testimony can significantly strengthen your case.
Let’s take a closer look at why an expert is so valuable in a personal injury case:
A medical expert can testify to the cause of your injuries.
Possibly the most commonly asserted defense by defendants in a personal injury case is that they did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries. This is even more common than a defense asserting that the plaintiff is not injured at all because, often times, medical reports clearly indicate that the plaintiff is in fact injured, but do not detail the cause of the injury.
While a medical expert cannot always conclusively state the cause of an individual’s injury, they can often say within a reasonable degree of medical certainty what did NOT cause the injury and opine the most likely cause.
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A medical expert can testify to the extent of your injuries.
Instead or in addition to a lack of causation argument, the other side may try to argue that you are not as badly injured as you say you are. By obtaining the opinion of a medical expert, you can present evidence in your case of how injured you really are and your expert can even issue a disability rating that shows your percentage of permanent disability to that part of your body due to the accident.
A medical expert can review and refute the conclusions of your opposition’s medical expert.
Insurance companies and injury defense lawyers tend to hire the same group of medical expert time and time again to issue opinions about the cause and extent of plaintiffs’ injuries. These experts are usually not just experts in medicine, but in the game of personal injury law as well. Their reports lean heavily in favor toward the defendant and they might opine that there were signs you were malingering (exaggerating or faking symptoms), your injury was preexisting, you were hurt in a subsequent accident, you are not really injured at all, or your injuries are not that bad.
If you obtain your own expert, they can issue a medical opinion not only disagreeing with those conclusions, but explaining why the other expert is wrong. This is something that is extremely difficult for a plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney to do without being an expert in the medical field. In addition, having a strong opinion issued by a medical expert will build your case’s credibility and strength.
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Having a medical expert’s opinion will encourage the opposition to agree to a settlement.
If you have been injured by the negligence of another party, call the experienced personal injury lawyers at our firm today for a review of your case.