It depends on the type of expert you need.
There are two types of witnesses – expert and lay. A lay witness testifies about facts that he personally saw – “I saw the light and it was red”, “the truck ran the stop sign”, “the blue car was over the line when the collision occurred”. A lay witness can’t give an opinion.
An expert witness might be able to testify to some facts, but only an expert witness can give an opinion.
Who was the perfect expert witness? Remember the scene in “My Cousin Vinnie” where Joe Pesci calls his girlfriend, Marisa Tomei to testify that the crime couldn’t have occurred the way the prosecution said it did? Where Marisa shuts down the trial, because she knows more about cars, tires, and limited slip differentials than anyone in the courtroom?
Marisa Tomei was the perfect expert witness – she hadn’t seen the crime or the scene, but she knew cars so well that she could tell the court why the other side’s witnesses had to be lying.
If I’m looking for an expert who can tell the jury how the accident happened – for instance, to say that the truck driver is lying when he says that he was only going 55, or that a truck did not have enough time to clear the intersection when he left the stop sign – I hire an accident reconstructionist.
Accident reconstructionists are usually not like Marisa Tomei. They are typically either engineers or retired law enforcement officials with specialized training in accident reconstruction.
They are able to look at the physical evidence – or reconstruct it based on witnesses’ testimony – and develop a precise timetable of what happened when.
If the lawsuit requires someone to say what the standard of care would be for a truck driver (or a trucking company) in a particular situation, I would try to find someone with expertise in trucks – maybe a manager for a trucking company, or a retired enforcement official. Trucking experts know specifically what truckers – and trucking companies – are and are not allowed to do.
There are other types of experts I might use in a trucking case, depending on the situation.
Where do I find them? I get some from having seen them testify in other cases. Or I might call another attorney – maybe one in town, maybe in another city. Some experts advertise on the web; some in lawyer magazines.
I hired one of the best experts I’ve ever used in an automatic door case. I googled “automatic door expert”, clicked on a WCPO video of the expert, and then googled his name. He had a Ph.D from MIT, cost about $6,500.00, and made the case. (The amount of the settlement made the cost insignificant.)
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. If you’re going to trial in a trucking case and there is any dispute about who caused the accident, you need an expert. If you’ve been hurt by a truck, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyer about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.