This is the third post in our series on the handling of Austin, Texas brain and head injuries. Our last post discussed how to calculate damages in a head trauma case. It is important that any damages calculated include compensation for both future economic losses as well as current pain, suffering, and medical expenses. In this post we will discuss another important topic – the role of experts in cases which involve brain or head injuries. We cannot stress enough that such cases are complicated and that you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
The rules of evidence require that one have specialized education or experience in order to be able to testify regarding complex matters. Expert witnesses are, therefore, required in many personal injury actions. Common issues to which an expert will testify include medical issues, a future prognosis, and the extent to which a victim’s ability to earn money has been reduced. We will discuss each of these issues in turn.
A medical expert is necessary to testify in regards to how an injury will impose future limitations on a victim as well as the expected costs of future care. If the victim has suffered a brain injury, a severe concussion, or other head trauma then it can be expected that they will have future problems. Such problems may include the loss of motor skills, memory loss, slurred speech, blurry vision, and more. It will be necessary for the expert to testify as to whether such injuries are permanent, temporary, and possibly correctable through physical therapy or surgery. It will also be necessary for the medical professional to explain to the jury the extent to which future procedures are required and the cost of such treatment.
A vocational expert will be necessary to testify in regards to how a victim’s ability to earn a living has been impacted by a head injury. Many such injuries can reduce a person’s ability to work for obvious reasons. Vocational specialists are able to offer opinions regarding the amount of money the Plaintiff could have expected to earn in their lifetime had the injury not occurred, the amount of money the Plaintiff can expect to earn in their current condition, and what types of work the Plaintiff may be able to perform. The Plaintiff will be able to request compensation for the difference between what they could have earned and what they are capable of earning currently.
Expert witnesses are expensive and can take many months to issue an opinion. This is just one reason why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer who has standing relationships with such professionals and who has the resources necessary to see your case through to completion. Hiring an attorney without the resources to do so may result in your not receiving the highest compensation possible.
Contact our Austin law firm today if you have suffered brain damage or a blow to the head. We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.