This case does not only underscore the importance of expert witness testimony to truck accident lawsuits, it also underscores its timeliness. According to an experienced personal injury attorney in Florida, trucking accidents are usually fatal and without any expert witness testimony, the negligent driver may go scot free.
Every personal injury attorney in Florida understands that testimony from experts is allowed for truck accident cases albeit with some restrictions. This is necessary because some cases require certain specialized knowledge that is not common. However, the testimony must be verifiable and the expert should be able to align the testimony with the facts of the case to reach a reasonable conclusion.
A witness may be eligible to give testimony based on his rare experience, skill, training, education, or some other knowledge. However, the testimony must be based on verifiable facts or data, it must follow reliable principles, and must be related to the case at hand.
In this case, a trucking accident victim lost his case because of poorly delivered expert witness testimony. The district court struck out his claim and the appellate court also upheld the same judgment. According to the plaintiff who is the victim of the accident, the truck hit his car from the rear so he lost control and rammed his car into a median. Since the driver of the truck was working for a carrier, he sued the driver for negligence and also sued the carrier for negligent entrustment and negligent hiring.
On the other hand, the defendant argued that the plaintiff had already hit and bounced off a median before his truck struck it as there was no way he could avoid hitting the car. Unfortunately, there was no witness to testify what really happened so it was left for each party to prove his account of the accident. Both parties asked for summary judgment and the plaintiff tendered two expert reports but according to the district court, the reports did not meet the requirements for admissibility.
The reports were not in line with the local rules of evidence as they didn’t include statements of facts and they were four months late.T he case was dismissed since there was no tenable expert witness testimony.
The plaintiff was not satisfied with the judgment and he filed an appeal. He argued that his reports should not have been rejected. He explained further that the report came late because he erroneously believed that the postponement order resulted in an open-ended discovery time frame. He also argued that the defendant’s report that was based on state trooper’s account should have been struck out. The appellate court disagreed with all the plaintiff’s arguments and upheld the same judgment.
In conclusion, the judgment underscores the importance of an experienced injury attorney and expert witness testimony to truck accident cases in Florida.