The Part Witnesses Play in Car Accident Cases
There are few things more important in a car accident case than evidence. Evidence helps prove that you were not at fault for the accident, which is vital for your case. Evidence also affects how much money you can be paid. Personal injury compensation is based on your damages, and you must show proof of those damages. One of the most important forms of evidence is eye-witnesses. If someone saw the accident, their statement can make your case. Read on to find out more.
Don't Sign a Release
It's all too easy for accident victims to accept what the insurance company for the at-fault driver offers them. Unfortunately, that is seldom a fair offer. Accident victims have nothing to lose by speaking to a personal injury lawyer about their case before they settle for less. Just be sure not to wait too long to make that phone call.
Who Saw What Happened?
While your lawyer will do an investigation to locate witnesses, you can supply them with the accident or police report. This report is compiled at the scene and usually includes the names and contact information of the eye-witnesses to the accident. You can access this report by contacting the agency that responded to your accident. If there are no eye-witnesses to the accident, some may need to be found. If accident fault is in contention, a canvass of surrounding businesses and residences could reveal witnesses or video evidence.
Time Is of the Essence
Eye-witnesses should be identified and contacted as soon as possible. Otherwise, they could become more challenging to find. In addition, the sooner your lawyer is able to get their testimony on the record, the more accurate their memory will be.
Many Witnesses Are Better Than One
Whether your accident happened at a major busy intersection or on a remote rural road, there might be multiple witnesses. When it comes to proving fault, the more witnesses the better. Different people may see different things depending on where they were at the time of the wreck. Even witnesses that saw only part of the accident are valuable. If you cannot prove that you were not at fault for the wreck, you may be liable for the other driver's compensation.
When Witnesses Disagree
It's not uncommon for witnesses to view the same accident in a completely different way. The other side will also be locating witnesses that might testify that you caused the accident. Don't worry too much about that — the other side will do everything they can to dispute your evidence. You can best help your lawyer by being honest about the way the accident occurred and by not speaking to the other side (the insurer) for any reason. Speak to your car accident lawyer to find out more.