In a personal injury claim, you must establish that another person’s negligence caused your injury. This is true in auto accidents, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, and any other form of personal injury claim that you may have. To prove negligence, you’ll need to establish that the other party owed you a duty of care, failed to uphold that duty, and caused your injuries. In some cases, this is very clear and simple. In others, it can be complex and confusing. Fortunately, if you’re working with a South Carolina personal injury attorney from the Elrod Pope Law Firm, you’re in good hands. We have the tools and skills to establish and prove negligence even in difficult cases.
One of the ways to establish fault is called ‘negligence per se.’ Negligence per se occurs when the at-fault party has violated a law, statute, or ordinance. For example, in an auto accident claim, this might be running a red light or failing to follow at a safe distance. Any traffic violation can be presented as negligence per se in a South Carolina auto accident claim. However, depending on the nature of your claim, you may need to refer to a number of different and obscure laws. This is where it helps to have an attorney on your side who knows which laws, regulations, ordinances, and statutes might apply to your claim.
If someone has broken a law in causing your injuries, then negligence per se may be used to establish fault. To prove this, you may need nothing more than a police report or witness statements. In other cases, you may need expert witnesses to testify about what happened, what should have happened, and what negligent actions were taken (or were not taken) by the at-fault party.
How Can Expert Witnesses Help Your Personal Injury Claim?
If your claim goes to trial, you will need to present evidence to prove negligence and damages. This evidence can include photos, eye-witness testimony, and expert testimony. In some cases, an expert witness can be an extremely valuable asset to your case. You will still need other evidence, but an expert can help you prove fault, negligence, or negligence per se at trial. There are many different kinds of expert witnesses, including accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and economists.
Accident reconstructionists are tasked with recreating the details of your accident, using the available evidence to establish how the accident occurred and who was responsible. They will use the photos, witness statements, and their own expert knowledge to form this reconstruction. They can even develop a model of the accident that allows others to see what happened. This can be very influential for the jury.
Medical experts are able to present your injuries from the perspective of a physician, which is particularly helpful in cases where the injuries are not immediately apparent or visible, such as whiplash, back injuries, or psychological trauma. The medical expert witness will review and evaluate your medical records to ascertain how your injury occurred, how it has affected you, and whether or not it aggravated a pre-existing condition. The experts will also touch on the recovery needs and timeline and give an opinion on whether your injury is permanently or temporarily disabling. This can go a long way towards proving the value of your claim.
An economist can help you to establish the value of your claim, explaining to the judge or jury why your request for damages is set at the given amount. In many cases, your request for damages only seems high until people are shown the level of expense that your injury has created. For example, people might not think about the high cost of prescriptions or physical rehabilitation, or how these expenses hinder your ability to stay afloat financially. With an economist expert witness, all of this can be made clear.
Learn More with a Free Consultation
The qualified & determined South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Elrod Pope Law Firm are happy to answer all of your questions and clarify the details of how the law relates to your personal injury claim in South Carolina or North Carolina. We’re here to help, so call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.