Thousands of car accidents occur every day.
No matter what the cause, whether it’s distracted driving, speeding, or blind spots, accident victims are often left wounded and stressed about money.
Fortunately, accident victims can file an accident claim to be compensated for medical bills, property damage, and other losses incurred in the accident.
One of the most important things you can do to strengthen your personal injury claim is to get the name and contact information of any witnesses you can find.
Accident claims often come down to one word against another.
However, with reliable witness statements, you’ll have a better chance of receiving maximum compensation for your car accident damages.
In the article below, we will discuss witness statements and why they’re essential.
What Is A Car Accident Witness Statement?
An auto accident witness statement is a piece of writing or testimony by a third party who witnessed your wreck and can explain what they saw.
Witness statements contain relevant details and evidence that can benefit your case.
If the only witnesses in the accident are the involved parties, it’s hard to get a witness statement.
In this case, it becomes a “he said, she said” deal where nothing gets accomplished.
Without an objective eyewitness statement, you have to rely on other evidence to try and explain why you were not at fault.
Third-party witness statements can eliminate the subjectivity of a car accident case and provide accurate, detailed information as to who’s at fault for the accident.
Witness statements are the next best thing if there is no video evidence of the accident.
If your car accident case happens to make it to trial, your witness can take the stand and testify to what they saw at the scene of the wreck.
How To Find A Witness For A Car Accident Case
Sometimes the police will gather witness statements when they prepare their police report.
The police will make an official report, gather the driver’s statements, determine fault, and cite whoever broke the traffic law that led to the crash.
After the crash scene has stabilized and you’re waiting for the police to arrive, start gathering witness statements if you can.
Try to find anyone nearby who may have seen the accident happen before they leave the area.
No one is legally obligated to provide witness statements, so respect their right not to comment.
When you approach the people around you, introduce yourself and ask if they saw the accident or the events leading up to the crash.
If any witnesses choose to provide a statement, be sure to record it.
You can take notes on paper or take a video of it.
You’ll also need their contact information to contact them in the future.
What To Include In Your Car Accident Witness Statement
Even if the law enforcement officials handling your case take witness statements, it still doesn’t hurt for you to talk to them as well.
Here are a few things that should be included in a detailed witness statement:
- The date and time of the accident
- A detailed description of what happened
- Their name and contact information
Try to get as many details as possible, like the color of the vehicle, where the incident occurred, and if there were any other people or vehicles involved in the accident.
Witnesses Help Us Prove What Happened
An accident attorney needs evidence to demonstrate that the other party is at fault.
Especially if there is a lack of other hard evidence, many cases are built on the testimony of eyewitnesses.
Witness statements are best taken as soon as possible.
Human memory can be very flawed, and bias creeps into the stories people tell over time.
Witnesses often take in additional information and incorporate it into their story if they aren’t interviewed right away.
People also forget what happened.
Statements obtained immediately are likely to be more accurate than later statements and will hold up better during the insurance claims process.
Witness statements are most credible when the witness does not have any self-interest involved.
Your family and friends in the car with you can provide their statements, but they won’t be as strong as a bystander who has no connection to an injured party.
Locating witnesses and getting detailed statements is often one of the most important things a personal injury attorney can do for your case.
Statements Help Your Settlement
Most personal injury cases begin with a discovery phase.
During this phase, each side explores the evidence the other side has to understand how the case might play out in court.
Discovery will sometimes bring one side to the realization that they were in the wrong.
For example, an eyewitness statement that a driver was texting at the time of the accident might encourage that driver’s insurance company to offer a fair settlement.
Why You Still Need a Lawyer When You Have Witness Statements
The best and most reliable witnesses cannot replace a personal injury lawyer.
You still need an experienced attorney to help you decide which witnesses will best support your case and compile additional evidence.
Reaching out to an experienced car accident lawyer is the first step in getting your life back.
With decades of trial experience, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is well-equipped to be your guiding light in this time.
With Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, car accident victims will get lawyers with decades of experience navigating the liability law to ensure exceptional compensation settlements for their clients.
Schedule a free consultation today to have your case reviewed by an experienced car accident lawyer by clicking the button below.