Auto Accident Leaves Sacramento Man With Catastrophic Brain Injuries, Part 3 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this traumatic brain injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

LAW AND ARGUMENT
EXPERT WITNESS QUALIFICATIONS ARE NOT BASED UPON RIGID CLASSIFICATIONS, BUT RATHER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

It is well established that a witness with special knowledge and expertise in a field can offer expert testimony. Evid. Code ยง 720; People v. Brown (2001) 96 Cal.App.4th Supp.l, 36-37 (Expertise is “not subject to rigid classification according to formal education or certification.”) Evidence Code section 720(a) refers to the necessary qualifications of an expert witness in the disjunctive: “A person is qualified to testify as an expert if he has special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education sufficient to qualify him as an expert on the subject to which his testimony relates.” Further, a trial court need only determine the qualifications of an expert, and then the degree of his knowledge is a matter affecting the weight of his testimony, not its admissibility. Los Altos El Granada Investors v. City of Capitola (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 629, 658.

In this case, plaintiffs designated David Goldberg as an expert witness to testify about issues pertaining to liability, accident reconstruction and biomechanics. Defendants only challenge plaintiffs’ expert David Goldberg’s qualifications to testify as a biomechanics expert on the claim he “lacks the special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education sufficient to qualify him as a biomechanical expert.”

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Specifically, defendants’ argue Mr. Goldberg “does not have a degree specifically in [the] area” of biomechanics. (Defendant’s motion, p. 5, lines 14-15.) This lack of a degree, argue defendants, requires that Mr. Goldberg’s testimony as to biomechanics be precluded. However, Mr. Goldberg’s curriculum vitae outlines his extensive training, education and experience over the last twenty-five-plus years in the areas of accident reconstruction and biomechanics. (Exhibit 1.) Specifically, he has “investigated over 5,000 traffic collisions” and he has completed more than “1,500 hours of specialized training in traffic investigation, reconstruction and biomechanics.” (Exhibit 1, p. 8.) His areas of expertise include accident reconstruction, biomechanics, occupant kinematics, occupant protection systems and fraud. (See Part 4 of 6.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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