The Importance of Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

July 28, 2023


There are many types of personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and dog bites. In North Dakota, the law allows victims of such accidents to file civil lawsuits if someone else's negligence caused the accident. However, to prove your claim and show you deserve compensation, you will need witnesses to back you up. Keep reading to learn the types of witnesses you need and why they're important.

Why Do You Need Witnesses And Where to Find Them

In most personal injury cases, negligent parties never admit their fault. They know that admitting will lead to consequences such as compensating you for the damage caused. According to North Dakota Law, victims of personal injuries are entitled to compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Unfortunately, getting that compensation is not always straightforward. This is why you need witnesses to back up your story and help your case.

When you hire a personal injury attorney in Minot, ND, they'll be in charge of finding witnesses for your case. They'll go through the police report, identify the witnesses, and contact them. They can also check video surveillance of where the accident happened and identify people who were present and ask them to testify.

Types of Witnesses

There are two types of witnesses who can testify in your case. These are lay witnesses and expert witnesses. The former are people who testify about what they saw or heard concerning the case. They're more or less eyewitnesses.

Expert witnesses are individuals with specialized training and knowledge in any field related to an accident or injury. Your attorney finds them to testify and help the judge or jury understand the facts of the case better. Expert witnesses don't need to have witnessed the accident to testify. They just need to be experts in a field related to your case. The various types of expert witnesses include the following.

Medical Experts

Medical experts like nurses, doctors, or other health specialists can testify about your health condition. For instance, if the neighbor's Pitbull bit you and you went for dog bite treatment, the specialist will testify to how severe the injuries are and how they will likely affect your life. This can help convince the court why you deserve the compensation you're asking for.

Economic Experts

These experts testify how a certain accident will impact you financially. For example, if you work at a salon and an accident breaks your arm, you won't be able to earn an income during your recovery period. Such testimony is crucial as it can establish the compensation you deserve. The economic damages in personal injury cases include treatment, loss of wages, and medical care.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

These types of experts are called personal injuries in motor accidents. They'll recreate the accident scene to show what happened and the party at fault.

Mental Health Experts

Some cases are very severe, leaving the victim with lasting emotional damage. For example, a victim can suffer from mental health conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety after an accident. Such an expert can testify of a victim's mental health status and how it can affect their ability to perform tasks as usual.

Does My Personal Injury Case Need a Witness?

Most personal injury cases rarely go to court and thus may not require witnesses. But when they go to trial, you need experts. Don't worry so much about this, as your personal injury attorney is responsible for acquiring witnesses. In addition, attorneys with experience already know expert witnesses they can call when needed.

If you have been in an accident and are thinking of filing a claim, hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. These professionals know how to navigate the legal system and represent you if the case goes to trial.



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