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Wrongful death lawsuits and expert witnesses

Losing a loved one in a car accident is nothing short of tragic. This is especially true when the death could have been prevented if the driver who caused the wreck was driving safely. The aftermath of such a fatal accident can be tremendous, oftentimes including significant emotional and financial loss. Although legal action cannot bring a loved one back, it may help a surviving family find peace, closure and financial relief.

However, recovering compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit is no easy feat. Merely proving the cause of the accident can be tough, particularly when the defendant adamantly denies any wrongdoing. In these instances, a plaintiff will have to present strong evidence to not only show the cause of the wreck, but also that the defendant was negligent and that negligence caused the fatal crash.

To do this, a surviving family may need to call expert witnesses. An expert witness may be necessary in order to prove intoxication, vehicle speed and true economic harm caused to a family. A financial expert may even be able to testify about such detailed issues as the value of a housewife's services, for example, something with which jurors may be unfamiliar. These experts, when prepared and questioned properly, could help a surviving family win a case and recover the compensation they deserve.

There are legal rules and procedures that must be followed when proffering a witness as an expert. Failing to comply with these rules and procedures could lead to powerful testimony being ruled inadmissible. Thus, those who will be filing a wrongful death lawsuit and may be relying on witness testimony may want to get more information about the details of this approach.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview," accessed on Dec. 18, 2015

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