using biomechanical testimony effectively to combat the soft tissue injury cases
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Using Biomechanical Testimony Effectively to Combat the Soft Tissue Injury Cases. MaryJane Dobbs, Marcus, Brody, Ford, Kessler & Sahner, L.L.C. Roseland, New Jersey June J. Essis, Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, PC , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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using biomechanical testimony effectively to combat the soft tissue injury cases

Using Biomechanical Testimony Effectively to Combat the Soft Tissue Injury Cases

MaryJane Dobbs, Marcus, Brody, Ford, Kessler & Sahner, L.L.C.

Roseland, New Jersey

June J. Essis, Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, PC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bradley W. Probst, MSBME, ARCCA Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

the good news
The Good News

By June J. Essis

what do biomechanical engineers do
WHAT DO BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERS DO
  • Apply engineering principles, the principles of mechanics, to biological systems, i.e., the human body, with the specific facts of an accident
  • Provide information about forces generated in the accident
low impact cases
LOW IMPACT CASES

Testimony has been admitted to establish that the forces generated by the accident were not sufficient to cause the injury alleged.

testimony is admitted when
TESTIMONY IS ADMITTED WHEN . . .
  • Expert is qualified
  • Expert has experience and training
  • Testimony is relevant and reliable
  • Material generally accepted in scientific community

Valentine v. Grossman, 283 A.D.2d 571, 724 N.Y.S.2d 504 (2001)

qualified to give testimony if
QUALIFIED TO GIVETESTIMONY IF …
  • Education
  • Experience and training
  • Reviewed facts of the case
    • Pleadings
    • Written discovery responses/depositions
    • Photographs
    • Accident report
    • Medical records

Ma’ele v. Arrington, 45 P.3d 557 (Wash. Ct. App. 2002)

reliability is established by
RELIABILITY ISESTABLISHED BY . . .
  • Setting forth the methodology
  • Explaining the calculations
  • Relying on factual events as reported by plaintiff
  • Reviewing medical articles
  • Utilizing studies/tests that were conducted by the expert or scientific community

Baerwald v. Flores, 930 P.2d 816 (N.M. Ct. App. 1997), certiorari denied, 122 N.M. 589 (1997)

mechanical engineer medical doctor and or accident reconstructionist
MECHANICAL ENGINEER, MEDICAL DOCTOR AND/OR ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTIONIST

Can testify if he/she has:

  • Education
  • Experience and/or
  • Training

in Biomechanics

qualified expert
QUALIFIED EXPERT…

Can testify about:

  • Forces involved in the accident
  • Impact forces have on the human body

Cannot testify about:

  • Plaintiff’s specific claimed injuries
standards for the admissibility
STANDARDS FOR THE ADMISSIBILITY

No different than the standards for the admissibility of any other expert testimony

in determining admissibility courts focus on
IN DETERMINING ADMISSIBILITY, COURTS FOCUS ON . . .

1) The credentials of the expert

2) Whether expert relied on education, experience, training and experiments to arrive at the opinion

3) Whether the testimony is reliable and relevant

4) Whether the methodology generally accepted in the scientific community

5) How the expert arrived at the calculations

6) The material and/or literature utilized

7) Whether the expert reviewed the case material

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