When you are trying to prove a personal injury case, you often have to back up your claim with evidence such as medical reports, employer reports, subpoenaed documents, witnesses, and more. It is not uncommon for claims of injuries by exposure to toxic substances that experts witnesses are called to testify. However, a Texas appellate court has recently upheld that expert testimony is required for claims of toxic personal injury.
Recent Texas Appellate Decision
When a plaintiff makes a claim that they were hurt by exposure from a toxic substance, they have the burden to prove that it was the chemical exposure that caused their injury or illness. The injured party must also provide expert testimony to support and prove causation. If you look at previous blog posts regarding negligence, causation is necessary to prove your case of negligence. One plaintiff attempted to bypass this requirement by claiming that he did not have “a diagnosed disease,” but rather “symptoms caused by discomfort rather than disease.” See Cerny v. Marathon Oil Corp. Essentially, the plaintiff was saying that discomfort and symptoms were within his knowledge as a layperson and no expert was necessary. The court disagreed. Expert testimony is required, even for claims for damages of “symptoms caused by discomfort” rather than disease.
Why Is This Important?
When you are injured, you need to hire the right attorney to gather all the evidence necessary to prove causation. When you discuss you particular case with your attorney, you need to provide them with all the information you have regarding your injury. This will help them to prove that you were injured by someone else’s negligence. Your attorney may ask you questions, request medical documents, and go over what may be asked of you in a deposition. If your injury was caused by exposure to a toxic substance, your attorney will be required to call an expert witness if your case goes to trial. Expert witnesses are very expensive, but necessary for a toxic tort case. If you have questions regarding expert witnesses and your personal injury case, speak with your personal injury attorney.