- Testimony: Proving Personal Injury Damages
- April 12, 2019
- Law Firm: - Office
Testimony: Proving Personal Injury Damages
Who can witness? Reasonableness and necessity
These can be established through testimony of:
- The injured person
- Medical experts such as doctors and other practitioners
- Stipulation or admission
The injured person can testify to support reasonableness and necessity of services. An injured person’s testimony can show:
- The foundation for bills and receipts introductions through testifying about doctor visits, medical bills and receipts from these visits.
- The nature of the injury as experienced by the injured person
- That the injury or condition is caused by the defendant's tort
- The nature and details of the medical services and supplies as understood by the injured person
- The amount of bills he/she received for these services
- Evidence that these bills were reasonable through bills’ payment
Although it is not always the case, an injured person’s testimony can sometimes be sufficient for an award for medical expenses. However, experts’ testimony may be required to validate that.
- If the injured person did not receive the bills, then someone else’s (eg. doctor) testimony becomes a must.
- If the injured person received but did not pay for the bills, then evidence that someone else paid may be shown.
If the plaintiff is not the injured person but is the person testifying then he/she can testify about:
- The nature of the injury and the treatment given as observed
- Medical bills received by the injured person
- Payment of bills as evidence of reasonableness
Doctors and other Practitioners
A testimonial about the necessity of medical treatment and services provided can be done through the injured person’s own doctors. They can testify that the bills represent charges for these services. Such testimonials can also prove necessity to recover the expenses.
A medical expert including a licensed physician can testify that:
- The services and treatment provided was necessary for the condition or injury
- The charges were also reasonable for the services provided
- There is reasonable certainty that the injured person needs these services
- The trauma that is described can cause injuries like those claimed
A medical expert who actually treated the injured person can testify about:
- The nature of injuries
- That the claimed trauma caused the injury
- The treatment prescribed and provided is reasonably necessary
- The amounts of charges for these services
Request for Admission
This request can be used to prove medical expense. These requests ask the defendant to admit that the bills (each of them) are genuine. The defendant or in cases there are more than one, each will be provided with a set of these requests.
The defendant is therefore asked to admit:
- The charge amount of the treatment and services provided made by each provider
- There is reasonableness for the need of services provided
- There is reasonableness of each charge
Any expert with the knowledge and training on medical costs and expenses such as an economist can testify about their the medical expenses, including the probable cost and the trends of the services. These testimonies become very useful during settlement negotiation. You can also obtain these through a computer generated statistics. Hence, it does not always require an expert to testify.
Family Members or other Provider of Services
Anyone who provided service to the injured person whether that person was a family member or a hired individual can testify to the services provided in terms of their nature and duration.
If the service provider is a trained professional, then his/her testimony will be enough to testify about the reasonableness of the services bills and charges. However, if the provider is not a trained professional, then their testimony may have to be accompanied with a physician or economist’s opinion.