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Expert witnesses that might be involved in your car accident case

The odds are pretty good that you'll eventually end up in a car wreck. In fact, insurance industry experts say that you can expect to be in at least one motor vehicle accident every 17.9 years or so. Most of the time, these accidents are fairly mild -- but where they aren't, it isn't unusual for a few experts to get involved.

If you file a claim for compensation after a serious car accident, here are the different types of experts that might eventually be consulted:

Accident reconstruction

These experts use evidence and physics to put together a coherent timeline of events. They're often used in accidents where there's a question of fault and the facts are disputed. They may also be used in multi-vehicle accidents where the order of events has to be determined.

Engineering or mechanical

Some serious accidents happen because of mechanical failures. An engineering expert may be called on to explain exactly what caused a vehicle's brakes to fail or steering wheel to jam, for example.

Medical and mental health

These experts can give testimony about the extent of your injuries and the limitations you now face due to the physical and emotional damage you suffered in the wreck. Sometimes they may be called on to discuss your prognosis so that there's evidence about how your condition will continue to affect you.

Vocational and financial

In order to fairly compensate you for your future losses, a vocational expert may provide evidence about your reduced prospects. A financial expert may be needed to accurately assess your future lost wages and lifetime expected needs.

Experts aren't necessary in every case -- but you should be aware of the potential need for one (or more) before you get started.

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