This is the next post in our series on the handling of workplace injury cases in Fort Worth, Texas. Our last article discussed third-party liability for workplace accidents. It is important to understand that injuries are sometimes caused by a party other than one’s employer and that such parties may be sued directly. Such lawsuits would take place outside of the “worker’s comp” system. It is best to retain a personal injury attorney experienced in handling such matters. In this article we will discuss another important topic – the need for expert witnesses in order to prove employer negligence. If you have been injured due to the fault of your company then it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Expert witnesses are required in many types of personal injury cases and this is especially true in matters involving workplace accidents. Texas’ rules of evidence do not allow a person to offer specific conclusions in their testimony unless that person has “specialized training, knowledge, or skills” which would allow the Court to classify them as an expert. Cases involving employers often require a witness to reach specific conclusions as to whether the employer’s conduct, which led to the accident, was reasonable.
Say, for example, a construction company was operating a night shift in order to complete a building on time. It would be necessary for the company to provide adequate lighting so that the work environment is safe. Now say a construction worker was injured and claimed that the company provided insufficient lighting. In such a situation the question of whether the provided lighting was “adequate” would depend on the standards of the industry; the company would have been required to provide the level of lighting that construction companies typically provide in such situations. An expert, familiar in workplace regulations and construction industry practices, would be required so that they may offer their professional opinion as to whether the provided lighting was adequate. This is just one example of how expert witnesses are often needed in workplace accident matters.
Both the Plaintiff and the Defendants will be permitted to retain expert witnesses. The jurors will hear testimony from both sides and make a decision as to which expert they believe to be more credible. While the jurors will not decide a case based solely on the testimony of experts, such testimony is an important part of these types of cases.
When hiring a personal injury lawyer it is important to retain a firm with substantial financial resources. Expert witnesses are highly expensive and the firm will pay these costs in advance. By hiring a firm with significant backing you help to ensure that the attorneys can retain the experts you need. The firm should also employ an on-staff investigator who will visit the scene of the incident and assist the experts in collecting necessary information. These traits are necessary in a workplace injury law firm regardless of whether you were injured in Fort Worth, Dallas, or Hurst.