If you sustain injuries in a motor vehicle collision, the costs associated with treating them may surprise you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each emergency department (ED) visit for crash-related injuries totals an average of $3,300.
This does not include the cost of any subsequent hospitalization, which can easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars. HealthCare.gov reports that the average cost of a three-day hospital stay is $30,000.
Those who sustain catastrophic injuries that have lifelong repercussions must also consider the increased living expenses they are going to incur as a result. For example, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation reports that the direct costs of living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be more than $180,000 per year.
Fortunately, accident victims have the right to pursue compensation from the parties liable for their injuries. Navigating the claims process can be challenging, though, and claimants must be able to prove both fault and damages before they can recover any kind of settlement.
A skilled personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence of fault and, if necessary, arrange testimony from a medical expert witness to prove the extent of your injuries and explain their potential lifetime costs.
If you were hurt in a wreck with a drunk, distracted, or negligent driver, turn to Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC for access to both seasoned legal counsel and medical specialists who can help build your case. We have won several multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients. Call 219-769-2900 to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Gary.
When Do Accident Victims Need a Medical Expert Witness?
The two essential components of a successful personal injury claim are liability and damages. After proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached this duty, you must demonstrate how the breach resulted in quantifiable damages.
Even in cases where fault is obvious—drunk driving accidents or rear-end collisions, for example—the insurance adjuster can still fight you on the extent of the damages and try to negotiate down to a fairly small settlement. This is where a medical expert witness can help.
Unlike eyewitnesses, an expert witness is a specialist or professional who was not present at the scene but can provide insight on certain details of the case. Such witnesses include civil engineers, accident reconstruction experts, local law enforcement personnel, and medical specialists.
As PennyGeeks explains, even claims that seem fairly straightforward can benefit from the testimony of one or more expert witnesses. Such testimony will serve to strengthen your case and provide the insurance adjuster fewer opportunities to deny it.
Additionally, there are certain scenarios in which working with a medical expert witness is essential. You should consult with a medical expert if you sustained injuries that:
- Will keep you out of work for an extended period of time;
- Will prevent you from returning to work at all;
- Will require physical therapy;
- Will require some kind of home care;
- Caused temporary or permanent paralysis;
- Resulted in some kind of disability; or
- Affected your cognitive functioning.
If you were hurt in a wreck and any of the above applies to you, contact Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC. For more than 30 years, our legal team has been litigating complex, high-value personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Call 219-769-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in Gary. You can learn more about personal injury claims in Indiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.