Under Maryland law, a party in a personal injury lawsuit may present testimony from an expert witness only in certain circumstances. That being the case, expert witnesses do not testify in most Maryland car accidents. However, there are cases where the need for an expert witness arises. Typically, this is when a case presents complex medical or scientific issues that are beyond the scope of a typical juror’s understanding. A recent case illustrates a situation in which the court held that the plaintiff’s claim required the testimony of an expert witness.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff was involved in a chain reaction car accident. Evidently, one motorist collided with another driver, whose vehicle then struck the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released later that day. The record does not indicate the treatment that the plaintiff received at the hospital.
The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against two of the other drivers involved in the accident. In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged injuries to his neck, head, back, right foot, right ankle, right hip, both shoulders, and both knees.” The plaintiff presented the testimony of medical experts to establish the extent of his injuries.
Evidently, the plaintiff had a history of pre-existing medical conditions involving his “feet, head, neck, knees, shoulder, and spine.” The defendants argued that the plaintiff’s case was insufficient as a matter of law because he failed to call an expert witness to establish that the defendants’ collective negligence was the cause of his injuries, rather than a result of a pre-existing injury. The plaintiff argued that his own testimony satisfied the causation element, and that no expert witness testimony was necessary.
The Court’s Opinion
The court agreed with the defendants, finding that the plaintiff needed an expert witness to explain whether the injuries the plaintiff suffered were the result of the accident involving the defendant or some other pre-existing condition. The court explained that, while the plaintiff presented testimony from his treating physicians, these witnesses could only testify to the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, and not their origin. Because the plaintiff failed to present expert testimony regarding the causation element of his claim, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may be eligible for injuries including compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and for any pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland car accident attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Government Liability in Maryland Car Accidents Caused by Dangerous or Poorly Maintained Roads, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published January 17, 2019.
Victims of Maryland Road Rage May Be Able to Pursue a Claim against Multiple Parties, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published February 5, 2019.