Many car accidents result in significant injuries. Thus, plaintiffs in lawsuits arising out of collisions often seek damages for the physical harm suffered by the victim, which usually requires the testimony of a medical expert to both establish liability and to describe what medical treatment is reasonable and necessary. Medical experts in personal injury cases must not only be qualified, but they must also formulate opinions that have a sufficient factual basis; otherwise, they may be prohibited from testifying. The parameters for determining whether an expert should be permitted to testify were the topic of a Florida opinion issued recently in a case arising out of a car crash. If you were hurt in an accident, you could be owed compensation for your losses, and it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible.
The Plaintiff’s Injuries and Claims
Reportedly, the plaintiff sustained injuries in an accident with a vehicle owned by the defendant. Specifically, he suffered injuries to his left arm, back, head and jaw, and suffered chronic headaches. Thus, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging negligence claims, and the defendant moved the case to federal court.
It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated with a physician who specializes in traumatic spine injuries for eight months after the accident and sought to have him offer expert testimony at trial regarding his treatment regimen and the cause of his injuries. The defendant moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert on the issue of causation.
Admissibility of Expert Opinions
Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, a person qualified as an expert due to training, skills, experience, or knowledge may offer testimony if his or her specialized knowledge will assist the fact-finder in determining the disputed issues, and the testimony is based on adequate data or facts. The testimony must also be the product of reliable methods and principles, which must be appropriately applied to the facts of the case.
In the subject case, the defendant argued that while the plaintiff’s expert was qualified to offer testimony on the issue, his opinion was not based on adequate facts. Specifically, the expert did not review any of the plaintiff’s prior medical records and relied solely on his treatment of the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s account of events in determining causation. The court ultimately agreed with the defendant, finding that a superficial analysis was insufficient to satisfy the prevailing standards for the admission of expert testimony. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.
Meet with a Trusted Florida Attorney
Many injuries suffered in car crashes are compensable, but the person harmed must prove liability to recover damages. If you were hurt in a collision, it is critical to retain an attorney who will fight to help you protect your rights. Jarrett Blakeley is a trusted Florida car accident attorney who is proficient in aiding injured parties in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire him, he will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome. You can reach Mr. Blakeley through the online form or at (800) 602-5000 to schedule a meeting.