Experts Battle In Sacramento Man’s Car Accident Trial, Part 2 of 2

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 car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)


California Evidence Code Section 720 requires that an expert must have “special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education sufficient to qualify him as an expert on the subject to which his testimony relates.”

Mr. Hall has no education, experience or other qualifications as an engineer, and does not otherwise qualify to determine impact speeds, vehicle speeds, change in velocity of the vehicles, or the forces involved in the collision. Mr. Hall did not examine the accident scene, nor is there a police report in this case that would have provided him with physical evidence at the scene of the accident. His methodology for computing speeds was to look at photographs of the damage to the respective vehicles, use a magnifying glass to estimate the amount of inches of damage, and then utilize a formula on a preprinted form entitled “Low Speed Collsion (sic) Worksheet”; however, the formula begins with an estimated value of .25 for a coefficient of restitution, which he supplied based upon his memory of having read such a value on a NHTSA website for 2001-2006 Honda Civic automobiles.

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

The second opinion that Mr. Hall intends to give at trial is that: the forces transferred as a result of this collision would have been minimal. The motion caused to the occupants of Jeep as a result of the impact would be inconsistent with treatable injury patterns in low speed collisions.

Mr. Hall admits he is not a biomechanics expert, he has no education or training in human anatomy; he does not have a degree in kinematics or kinesiology; he has been restricted in testifying in the past on whether there is an injury potential or not. He has never worked in the medical field, although he did have Class I EMT training as a police officer.

Mr. Hall’s testimony should be completely excluded. Even though his lack of any reasonable qualifications or expertise on the subject matters upon which he intends to testify could be addressed in cross-examination or even upon foundational voir dire, the fact that he is allowed to proceed to give these unqualified conclusions could mislead the jury into believing that he is actually a qualified expert. It is not just a matter of weight, it is a matter of admissibility.


It is respectfully requested for the reasons stated above that the testimony of Richard Hall be excluded.

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

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