New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
What Witnesses are Presented to Assess Damages
Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in Legal Terminology
Treating Doctors will be the Main Witnesses
If the defense admits liability, then you are only going to have a trial on damages. What witnesses will you need to show that you have a valid case, that you are more likely right than wrong, and what you are claiming is true? Well, you will need to bring in a whole host of witnesses, such as your current treating medical doctors.
We would want the jury to understand, exactly the treatment you received, the medical care you received, and the type of surgery you had to undergo. Secondly, what is your prognosis, which means, what is going to happen to you in the future because of your injuries?
Economist and Vocational Rehabilitation Expert
Additionally, your lawyer can call you and your family members on the witness stand, to explain to the jury what you are going through on a daily basis. Your lawyer might also show the jury, a-day-in-your-life video, where you are followed around for an entire day, so that people can see on video, how you spend your day. This will highlight all the activities that you are limited to and unable to do, during the day.
Additionally, your lawyer can also bring in an expert known as an economist, who studies the value of money. Suppose you have lost earnings, and you were not able to return to work because of your injuries. The economist will be able to tell the jury the value of money today, and what it will be the future value of that money ten or twenty years from now.
Another witness that might be brought in is a vocational rehabilitation expert. This expert has studied what jobs different people are capable of doing. This expert will be used to explain to the jury, the type of work you were able to do before the accident, which now you are unable to do, and the type of jobs you are capable of doing now based upon your current injuries and your prognosis.
Your lawyer will be trying to show to the jury that you are more likely right than wrong, and what you are claiming is true. In order to do this, your lawyer will have to present all these witnesses to support your claim, to support the damages, and the harms and losses you have suffered, so that the jury can actually compensate you.
Conveying Your Past, Current, & Future Situation
By law, once it is determined that the defendant has caused the accident, they must be held accountable, and the jury will determine how much compensation should be awarded to you because of the injuries you suffered. Therefore, these different witnesses will be presented to prove and explain to the jury, the type and extent of your injuries, the damages you have suffered, the type of life you are currently living, the type of work you can do now, and the type of life you could be living in the future.