Personal injury lawyers have many roles throughout the course of a lawsuit. One important ongoing role is to gather facts and evidence to support the injured person’s claim. In many personal injury cases, that will include expert evidence to support or strengthen the claim of the plaintiff. Generally speaking, if an issue falls outside of the normal experience of a layperson, it will be necessary to hire a person possessing specialized skill and knowledge – in other words, an expert – to provide an opinion at trial that will assist the trier of fact (the judge or a jury) in deciding that particular issue.
An expert’s opinion can also be very helpful during settlement discussions with ICBC and the defendant’s lawyer and may convince ICBC to settle the claim without going to trial. In fact, settlement discussions, mediations, and trials alike regularly boil down to a battle of the experts (for example, the plaintiff’s expert says the defendant is at fault for the accident while the defendant’s expert says the plaintiff is at fault; or the plaintiff’s expert says the plaintiff is seriously, permanently injured while the defendant’s expert says the plaintiff’s injuries are insignificant and not expected to last).