The Role of Expert Witnesses in Motorcycle Accident Cases

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The Role of Expert Witnesses in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Expert witnesses can provide critical evidence in a motorcycle accident case. They provide context and clarity that can help sway a judge or jury in your favor. Expert witnesses may include medical experts, economic experts, and accident reconstruction experts.

Resourceful and experienced motorcycle accident attorneys typically have experts in multiple fields who they can contact for witness testimony when needed. Specialized knowledge from experts can help establish fault, prove causation, and substantiate damages.

Types of Expert Witnesses in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Personal injury cases often rely on expert testimony to establish authoritative facts that support the injury victim’s claim. Experts may hail from a wide range of fields and specialties. For motorcycle accident cases, experts often include the following.

Medical Experts

Medical expert testimony provides context and specialized information about the injuries suffered by the motorcycle accident victim. Typically, a medical expert is a physician or other licensed medical professional with experience handling catastrophic and debilitating injuries. A medical expert may:

  • Explain diagnostic criteria
  • Detail the patient’s prognosis
  • Outline treatment options and recovery timeline
  • Explain the patient’s expected maximum medical improvement
  • Clarify the patient’s disability or impairment
  • Advise whether the patient will require long-term treatment or assistance

Economic Experts

An economic or financial expert may support the motorcycle accident victim’s claim for current and future financial losses. Motorcycle crash victims who cannot return to work lose their current income as well as the potential income they could have earned. An economic expert can help quantify those losses so the victim receives fair compensation for their lost career.

For example, an economic expert can estimate what the victim could have earned over the course of a decade if their career continued its expected trajectory. Rather than simply multiplying the victim’s current income to calculate future income loss, the expert considers raises, bonuses, benefits, and projected career advancement.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

Accident reconstruction experts specialize in recreating the conditions that led to a motorcycle accident. Using advanced technology, the input the known information about the collision to recreate the accident. This allows them to show the angle, trajectory, and speed of an accident.

Accident reconstructionists are crucial for proving who was at fault for a motorcycle accident. They help the judge and jury visualize the progression of the accident to better apportion responsibility. In states like Michigan with contributory fault laws, a more detailed understanding of the accident timeline can mean the difference between a fair settlement and no settlement at all.

Traffic and Highway Safety Experts

Traffic and highway safety experts can help create a full picture of the accident. They can attest to road conditions and situations that contributed to the collision and establish context to prove fault and causality. These parties can provide critical testimony about motorcycle safety and dangers on the road. For instance, motorcyclists are prone to losing control of their vehicles when there is debris on the road.

In addition, the low profile and small size of a motorcycle make it easier to overlook for drivers in larger vehicles. By making a judge or jury aware of these risks and the safety measures motorcyclists take to avoid accidents, the expert can help the motorcycle accident victim establish the at-fault party’s negligence.

Additionally, they can testify about rules and regulations breached by the at-fault party. They can advise how such breaches lead to motorcycle accidents and further establish negligence.

Expert Witnesses Can Help Prove Negligence

The fundamental goal of a motorcycle accident claim is to prove the at-fault party was reckless or negligent and use that proof to recover damages on behalf of the victim. A motorcycle accident claim must typically include the following four elements of negligence to be valid.

Duty of Care

A duty of care refers to the responsibility one party has to another within a given relationship. Motorists on the road have a duty of care to other vehicle operators, including motorcyclist. Their duty requires them to follow traffic laws and drive in a safe manner that reasonably avoids placing others at risks.

Utility companies, landscapers, and other entities have a duty of care to avoid leaving debris or obstacles in the road without adequate warning. A local or state government entity has a duty to keep roads safe, well-maintained, and reasonably free of hazards. Highway safety experts can provide context for duty of care for motorists and other third parties.

Breach of Duty of Care

A party violates their duty of care when they do not take reasonable precautions to avoid causing harm, consistent with expected behavior for their situation or position. For instance, a driver who fails to yield the right of way at an intersection has breached their duty of care as a motor vehicle operator.

Highway safety experts offer insight into the ways motorists and other parties can breach their duty of care on the roadways.


When someone breaches their duty of care and the violation results in an accident, they can be held liable for the injuries and losses that occur as a result. Proving an accident was caused by someone’s negligence is a crucial role of accident reconstructionists, highway safety experts, and motorcycle experts.

Causation can be direct or indirect. An example of direct causation is a car turning left and hitting a motorcycle in traffic. Indirect causation, on the other hand, could be a local government failing to fix a large pothole. When a car swerves and hits a motorcyclist while trying to avoid the pothole, the local government could be considered an indirect cause of the accident.


The final element of negligence for a motorcycle accident claim is proving damages. The motorcyclist must be able to show that they suffered injuries and losses because of the accident.

Medical and economic expert testimony can help the motorcycle crash victim establish the full scope of their losses. They can also help the motorcyclist quantify their current and future losses, especially in the case of long-term or permanent disability.

How Motorcycle Claims Benefit from Expert Testimony

Expert witnesses provide critical details that improve the victim’s chances for a favorable outcome.

Increased Potential Financial Award

Expert testimony places the accident in context, which makes it easier for the judge or jury to understand the victim’s losses. Using expert testimony, accident reconstruction, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene, the victim can create a compelling story. A judge and jury may feel more empathetic and inclined to award higher damages.

Additionally, the at-fault party or their insurance company may decide to settle for a higher amount before going to trial once they see expert testimony in support of the victim. If they do not think they will succeed in court, they are less likely to proceed to trial.

Reduced Risk of Comparative Fault Finding

Some states, including Michigan, operate under comparative fault laws, which means the victim could lose some or all of a potential award if the court finds they were partly responsible for the accident. Expert testimony can bolster the victim’s claim, reducing their risk of being found partially liable.

Speak With an Attorney About the Role of Expert Witnesses in Motorcycle Accident Claims

Expert testimony aims to support a motorcycle accident victim’s claim with concrete facts and evidence. An expert can help outline the duty of care, prove fault, establish causation, and substantiate damages. Contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Christensen Law today to learn how expert witnesses can bolster your motorcycle accident case. You can call us at any time to get started.