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Expert Witness Provides Introduction to Human Factors

Human factors deal with how a person or multiple individuals interact, use and misuse products, objects, tools, equipment and the environments these situations occur within. For an expert’s hire, he or she must explain how the interactions affect the mental, perceptual and physical capabilities and limitations relevant to the case.

Human factor expert witnesses are able to introduce how the interactions of products may lead to an incident. Sometimes, these complications are due to misuse, not following instructions and ignorance in how to use a product. Other human factors cases arise through mental and perceptual problems with equipment and tools. If an object traumatizes the consumer, this could involve human factors in an injury claim or a similar case. The professional explains how the victim is in need of compensation to recover from the incident.

Most expert witnesses that introduce human factors in the courtroom have experience as a professional working in a similar field such as in investigations, examinations of persons or as part of an agency or company. Some are involved in educational or financial institutions. Many have experience with various pieces and modes of technology that could affect a consumer or a group. When the professional has a background in a special field, this could involve him or her becoming an expert in vehicles, automatic mechanics, networks, electronic devices and car collisions. To understand how a human is harmed or injured through these incidents, a human factors expert may be hired.

What the Expert Does with Human Factors

When the expert is hired based on claims where an injury or death occurred, he or she is tasked with introducing the human factors and how the car, machine, product or object affected the individual. The expert may need to explain the differences in standard use, incorrect use and when instructions of products caused an issue. If the claim is about an injury with a collision, the professional may explain how the driver has been harmed due to a defect or faulty system. If the person behind the wheel was not in his or her right mind, this could be why the victim was injured through a collision.

The mental state of a victim when using a product is important. If he or she has been traumatized by a purchased product after standard use, the defect or complication that occurred through this event may lead to an instance where therapy or rehabilitation is needed. The expert may need to connect the two situations and then introduce the human factors that were involved in these circumstances. If the judge or jury are not able to make a connection, it is the professional that resolve the confusion and then details the problem from the product.

Human Factors Experts Explained

The experts that are hired to explain and introduce the human factors have a background in and may specialize in various sections of human factors sciences and studies. These professionals may have a specific background in the psychological, physical or product portion of these situations. The social and economic ramifications of product problems could lead to multiple lawsuits. This is especially true if the instructions or use causes trauma and injury. The expert is then needed to explain how recovery is possible and why compensation is needed for the human factors to these incidents.

The primary concern in an incident where an expert in these fields is hired is what occurred to the client or buyer. His or her wellbeing becomes the most important. His or her mental and physical health after the incident is what will affect how much compensation is needed so the victim has a chance to recover fully. Any loss of limb, life-altering effects or death may alter these factors significantly. The family of someone that has died through these circumstances could litigate for wrongful death, and then the expert will connect the product or situation to the victim. He or she may even reconstruct the incident.

The Introduction to Human Factors in the Courtroom

The expert provides testimony in the courtroom and his or her job is to connect the judge or jury to the victim of the event. The specific physical, psychological or emotional impact are explained in detail. Then, the expert walks through the reconstructed incident and how it has affected and may continue to affect the victim even years later. If greater injury occurred, this is easier to demonstrate than when therapy is necessary to become whole after the accident.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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