When your personal injury claim moves toward trial, you and your Chicago personal injury attorney will gather as much evidence to support your case as possible. That is because it is on your shoulders to prove the defendant had a duty of care toward you, the defendant’s actions were a breach of that duty, and those actions caused your injuries. You must also prove the type and extent of your injuries to support the amount of compensation you are asking for.
These elements each require evidence, which can come from accident reconstruction, your testimony, witness testimony, expert witnesses, your doctor’s testimony, and more. While it is not always necessary to have your physician testify during a personal injury case, it may be the best way for the judge and jury to learn about your injuries and how you have suffered from the accident.
Once you and your attorney have determined it would beneficial for your doctor to testify at trial, you will need to ask your physician to do so. Many doctors are familiar with personal injury and workers’ compensation issues and will have testified at trials before. However, all medical professionals have the right to decline to testify in court. To limit the chance of a rejection, you and your attorney should impress upon your physician how crucial it is for your case to have testimony regarding your injuries, necessary treatments, complications, and future medical needs. If your physician still refuses, do not take it personally. Instead, discuss with your attorney the best options for moving forward with your case.
Also, when you ask your doctor to testify at trial, be prepared to compensate your doctor for their time, including preparation, meetings with your attorney, depositions, travel, and time in court. You should discuss with your attorney how these fees are handled.
There are two main strategies to deal with your physician refusing to testify at trial. You have the right to subpoena your doctor to testify in court. A subpoena requires the physician to appear in court on a certain date or be penalized. This is usually only done if it is absolutely necessary to have your doctor testify in court since a professional will not appreciate being forced into a court case. Professionals who are forced to testify against their wishes can be difficult on the stand and not cooperative with your attorney. This can do more harm than good.
Your second option is to work with expert witnesses who can review your records, examine you, and provide information about your injuries, treatments, medical needs, and expenses based on their specific education, training, and experience. For example, if your physician will not testify about your spinal cord injury, you can have a medical expert in spinal cord injuries testify about your type of injury, the necessary and appropriate treatments, long-term mental and physical consequences associated with this type of injury, the pain you experienced, and the costs associated with past and future medical care.
Preparing to take a personal injury claim to trial is a stressful and complex process. You need an experienced attorney to guide you through obtaining necessary and beneficial evidence, including securing your doctor’s testimony or medical experts.
If you have been hurt in an accident and you need help filing an insurance claim or filing suit against the responsible party, do not think twice about picking up the phone and calling Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. We know the law and have the resources you need to seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Call the Chicago personal injury lawyers of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900.