In the intensity of the moments following a car accident, there is often not much thought given to potential witnesses who saw the accident. The accident itself can be a harrowing experience. In severe accidents, you might be unconscious or unable to move or communicate in the moments after everything is over.
Innocent bystanders who witness an accident can provide insight into what occurred and might be the key to proving the other party caused the car accident.
Our attorneys have seen the dangers of not preserving evidence after an accident. The first responsibility of drivers and passengers after an accident is to assess their injuries and make sure everyone is safe. In more serious accidents, you may not want to move until medical help arrives.
Once all injuries have been assessed, and your safety is secure, it is a great idea to collect all the evidence you can. Break out your phone and begin taking as many photos as possible, including photos of the damage to all of the vehicles and any property damage. Write down the events while they are still fresh in your mind.
How Can You Obtain a Witness Statement
There is a good chance someone saw the crash and knows what happened. A witness statement can make all the difference in determining liability in the accident. Their statements can help you win or lose your claim for liability. After the accident, walk up to nearby bystanders and ask them if they saw what happened.
Witnesses are not required to give a statement or stay at the scene, so you have to ask them if they would be willing to provide a statement. Don’t forget to get their contact information, especially their name, phone number, and address.
The witness statement doesn’t have to be a written statement. They can also give a statement by audio or video. Ask the witness if the other driver was speeding or seemed intoxicated. Ask them if the other driver broke traffic laws that led to the accident. Ask the witness if the other driver was on their cell phone when the accident happened.
Credibility is important when it comes to your witnesses. If the witness is a well-respected member of the community, the jury will be more likely to believe what the witness has to say. The opposite is also true. A witness with questionable credibility may make statements that won’t be taken seriously in the courtroom.
Other factors that may influence their credibility include:
- Bias toward the claim resolution
- Having a criminal record
- If the statement has remained consistent throughout the process
- If the statement or testimony sounds believable
- Whether the witness line-of-sight was adequate to see what happened to cause the accident
Your attorney might want to cross-examine the witness if they feel the witness lacks credibility.
The PI Attorneys at Epperly & Follis Want to Help
If you have been injured by another person’s negligence, you shouldn’t be paying for their recklessness. Craig Follis has decades of experience representing clients in winning cases against drivers who have been injured in a car accident.
To get the process started today, reach out to Epperly & Follis at 804-648-6480 today to schedule your initial consultation.