15 Mar

The Role Of Expert Witnesses In Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcycle Accidents

The Role Of Expert Witnesses In Motorcycle Accident Cases

When a motorcyclist is injured in a collision, they have a legal right to seek monetary compensation for their injuries. Normally, they work with an attorney to negotiate with the insurance company of the driver responsible (or their own insurance company) to achieve a settlement. However, sometimes it’s necessary (or in the motorcyclist’s best interest) to take the case before a judge or jury – to go to trial. 

There is a reason most motorcycle accident cases settle. Trials are time-consuming, expensive, public, and stressful. They are also unpredictable; the outcome isn’t guaranteed, and losing means getting nothing. That’s why it is so important to have a solid trial strategy! 

One of the major components of any motorcycle injury case that goes to trial is the role of expert witness testimony. Because many injured motorcyclists have not been in a courtroom before and may not know anything about expert witnesses other than what they have seen on crime TV shows, here is a brief overview of why witness testimony is so important! 


Who Are Expert Witnesses In Motorcycle Accident Cases, And What Do They Talk About?

How many expert witnesses there are in a trial, and what they are experts in, are ultimately up to each side’s attorneys, and will depend on what the circumstances of the accident and injuries are. (Note that expert witnesses can be, and are, used by both sides in a trial.) Here are a few of the most common types of witnesses called upon to testify in these motorcycle accident cases! 

  • Accident reconstruction experts 

Accident reconstruction experts are usually certified in some way in the fields of physics, engineering, or traffic accident reconstruction itself. They are able to analyze how exactly a collision occurred – the speed of the vehicles, the angle of impact, etc. – using evidence from the police report, the vehicles, photos and videos from the scene, and more. They may be able to provide an expert opinion on what happened (if how the accident occurred is disputed) and what actions, if any, by either driver, could have prevented the crash.

  • Forensic experts

Forensic experts are similar to accident reconstruction experts but apply scientific methods and knowledge to interpret evidence. They can provide an expert opinion on how DNA analysis, toxicology reports, tire skid marks and motorcycle scratches, factors like field of view and more give insight to what caused a crash. 

  • Medical experts

Medical experts like doctors, surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, and others can testify as to the nature and extent of injuries that a motorcyclist incurs in a crash. They can explain the diagnosis/prognosis, the treatment necessary, and the correlation between the injury (injuries) and the motorcycle accident, and the long-term complications, as well as the expected resulting medical costs. 

  • Psychological experts 

If medical experts can testify to the physical impact of a motorcycle accident, psychological experts such as psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, counselors, and others can provide expert opinions on how the accident affected the plaintiff’s mental health, whether it caused emotional trauma, and so on. They can also give their opinion as to the cost of psychological treatment and if it is warranted. (When it comes to determining damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress or loss of enjoyment, which are common in motorcycle accident cases, their testimony may be particularly relevant.)

  • Vocational experts 

Vocational experts can testify as to the impact of motorcycle accident injuries on a motorcyclist’s career and ability to earn a living. They can evaluate the plaintiff’s education, work history, skill set, current job market and how it relates to the current economy, and more to discuss the economic losses, both in the short and long-term, that the injury caused. (When it comes to seeking compensation for lost wages of any kind, their opinions may be essential!)

  • Motorcycle operation/training/safety experts

When it comes to motorcycle accident cases in particular, experts who specifically deal with motorcycle safety can be invaluable (to either side). There are professionals who specialize in rider training, motorcycle braking, motorcycling maneuverability, and more. These professionals may have worked as motorcycle trainers or in other capacities. 

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will have connections with many expert witnesses and will know which ones to seek out depending on the specifics of the case at hand! 

Common Challenges To Expert Witness Testimony

Expert witness testimony is difficult to refute (because they are experts!) but either side may attempt to dispute testimony or cast doubt upon it in order to protect their case. Here are some of the most common “objections”:

  • Finding (and showing) conflicting testimony that the expert previously gave 
  • Questioning the credibility of the expert (lack of qualifications or experience, etc.)
  • Showing that the expert is biased
  • Showing that the expert is operating under a false assumption
  • Showing that the expert’s testimony is speculation, irrelevant, or inadmissible due to the rules of evidence

The Impact Of Expert Witnesses On A Verdict

It’s no exaggeration that expert witnesses can make or break a motorcycle accident case for either side; the jury respects expert witnesses and relies on them to help them make informed decisions and interpret complex information. 

Expert witnesses can help attorneys establish liability (who was negligent, and how) and quantify damages (how much the plaintiff should receive). They can make the difference between a plaintiff receiving nothing, only a fraction of their injury costs, or maximum compensation. 


Have A Motorcycle Accident Case? Insurance Not Offering Enough? Contact The Florida Law Group

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, going to trial may be a way to recieve more compensation than you are offered in a settlement; if you have the right expert witnesses to rely upon, you may have a better chance at succeeding! 

The Florida Law Group has recovered over $1 billion dollars for plaintiffs since 1984. We are trial experts, and because we have been around for so long (in so many cities across the state!) we have relationships with many excellent expert witnesses. We can help you determine the role they may be able to play in your case! You can trust that we are dedicated to winning and will do everything in our power to fight for the full amount your injuries are worth. 

Call today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.