Florida Court Discusses the Disclosure of Experts in Personal Injury Cases

Many car crashes cause significant injuries that require long-term care and assistance and result in significant losses of income. Thus, victims of collisions will often seek damages from the parties ultimately responsible for their harm. Liability and damages are frequently disputed in lawsuits arising out of car accidents, though, and it is not uncommon for parties to rely on experts to support their opinions. Experts must be disclosed to the opposing party, though, and if they are not, it may impact whether they can testify, as discussed in a recent Florida opinion. If you were injured in a collision brought about by someone else’s negligence, you might be able to recover damages, and you should meet with a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

The History of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff suffered harm in a collision caused by the defendants. The precise circumstances surrounding the accident and the damages sustained were not disclosed. It is clear, however, that the plaintiff sustained substantial injuries that resulted in the need for at-home care and caused a loss of earning capacity. Thus, she filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court. Prior to trial, the defendant retained experts to opine on the plaintiff’s life care costs and her loss of future earning capacity. The defendant failed to provide the plaintiff with experts by the disclosure deadline, though. As such, the plaintiff moved to preclude the defendant’s experts from testifying.

Disclosure of Experts in Personal Injury Cases

Under the federal rules of civil procedure, a party that fails to disclose an expert in a timely manner will generally be precluded from using the expert’s information or allowing the expert to testify at trial, unless the failure to promptly disclose the expert report was either harmless or substantially justified. The failure to disclose a report will be deemed harmless when it does not cause the party who is owed the report to suffer any prejudice. The court explained that prejudice occurs when an untimely disclosure prevents a party from thoroughly preparing its case via depositions of expert witnesses.

In the subject case, the court noted that the defendant failed to set forth any justification for the failure to disclose expert reports by the deadline set by the court. Nonetheless, the court found that the error was harmless. Specifically, the court explained that the plaintiff did not suffer any prejudice due to the late disclosure, as she was able to depose the experts and had their reports prior to the depositions. Thus, the plaintiff’s motion was denied.

Consult a Dedicated Florida Attorney

Car crashes can cause debilitating injuries, and the people that cause them should be held accountable for their recklessness. If you were hurt in a collision, you should consult an attorney regarding your right to pursue compensation. The dedicated Florida car accident attorneys of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. are skilled at fighting to protect the rights of accident victims, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our online form or at 800-283-7442 to set up a meeting.

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