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Expert Witnesses

Expert Witnesses: Expert witnesses are individuals trained in some particular specialty, such as medicine, engineering, accident reconstruction, or economics. By virtue of their training they are qualified to render “expert opinions” or “expert testimony” regarding the facts of a case. Expert witnesses may be vital to a personal injury case’s successful conclusion, especially in cases where the facts are highly disputed or particularly complicated. As personal injury attorneys gain experience in their specialty, they become more and more familiar with the most qualified and respected expert witnesses.

Foreseeability: In tort law, the reasonable anticipation that an injury may occur through the action or inaction of another party. If a defendant could reasonably have foreseen that someone might be hurt by his or her actions, then there may be liability.

Heirs: A person who is entitled to inherit real or personal property, either by will or by intestate law.

Injury: Harmful effects to a person’s physical, mental or emotional state for which the victim should be entitled to compensation.

Interrogatory: A discovery device in a lawsuit, written questions asked by one party of an opposing party who must answer them in writing under oath.

Intestate Law: The relevant statute governing succession to estates of those who die without a valid will.

Intestate Succession: The method used by the state to determine which heir is entitled to receive personal property owned by a person who dies without a valid will.

Investigator: Often, a lawsuit requires extensive investigation. An experienced law firm can properly provide an investigator for collection of additional evidence, such as witness statements, photographs of an accident site, or background research and/or location of potential defendants.

Insurance Claim: An insurance claim is the formal beginning of a personal injury case, and is made when the personal injury attorney informs an insurance company that the injured person will be seeking compensation for damages that were sustained. It is very important when making an insurance claim to know what information must be given to an insurance company, what information need not be given, and what information should never be given. Providing more information than required by law may seriously damage the value of a personal injury claim. Also note that a claimant may be a family member in the case of a wrongful death suit.

Insurance Defense Attorney: When the negligent parties in a personal injury claim become the defendants in a lawsuit and the complaint is served on them, their insurance company will secure the services of a defense attorney to represent their interests. The defense attorney is legally representing the defendant, but is actually being paid by the insurance company.

See more Legal Terms & Definitions

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