There are literally thousands of car accidents every single day. These unforeseen occurrences, which can leave motorists injured or worse, are often caused by a variety of factors like a driver being distracted, speeding, or failing to properly check their blind spots.
If you've been in a vehicle accident lately, you probably know all the hoops you have to jump through in order to file a claim with your insurance. If you're injured, you may have to take time off work, and this is only the beginning.
If you're considering filing a claim with insurance or a personal injury lawsuit, you're most likely gathering evidence like a witness statement. But, you may have questions regarding witness statements. Everything you need to know about witness statements for your case is covered in this article by the team at Brandon J. Broderick.
For further questions or if you've been in a car accident and need legal help, Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, has decades of experience.
What Exactly Is a Car Accident Witness Statement?
A witness statement for a car accident is written or spoken testimony from a third-party observer who can describe the collision in detail. It may contain key information and proof that may help your case immensely.
When the only witnesses to an accident are the parties involved, getting an objective account of what happened can be challenging. It can easily devolve into a "he said, she said" situation where nothing is resolved. You have to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove you are not at fault if you don't have an objective statement to back up your case.
If there is no video evidence to verify an auto accident, a statement from a third-party witness can remove any room for interpretation and provide reliable, specific information about who was at fault. Your witness will be able to testify in court about what they witnessed when your car accident lawsuit goes to trial.
How Will a Witness Statement Benefit Your Case?
For several reasons, having a witness provide a statement can help your case. We've already covered how this can boost the strength of your claim, but witness statements are also important for a number of other reasons.
While in no-fault states like New York or New Jersey, it doesn't matter who is at fault, if you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit, it will come down to who is deemed negligent. A witness statement that indicates the other driver was at fault can significantly help in proving fault.
If the witness saw what happened, their testimony might also lend credence to claims of injuries sustained in the event. The witness can testify that you died as a result of these injuries and that the other driver's negligence was to blame, as evidenced by medical records that will be presented at trial.
Finding a Reliable Witness
Given the circumstances, it may be challenging to locate a credible witness. No one you know will have been in the area, and if you're receiving medical attention, you might not even be fully alert.
If you need to locate someone in the area, you could always watch the surveillance footage from a store or traffic signal in the area. Alternatively, if you are alert at the accident scene and a good Samaritan offers assistance, you can ask for their details to utilize later.
Workers at nearby businesses or witnesses to the crash may want to assist authorities by providing their statements. Your attorney may be able to get a name by reviewing the police report, which will indicate who made a statement at the scene.
Questions Witnesses May Be Asked
When deciding whether or not a witness's testimony is good, it's important to keep a few things in mind. You should expect the following inquiries into the witness, should your case get to trial:
- Who the witness is and their background
- Their relationship to the other parties, if any
- Why were they at the scene of the accident
- Did they see the entire accident
- Do they have any vision problems
- Dependability of the witness
- Any relevant factors
These questions are relevant, so that the courts can determine how dependable the witness is. A witness's statement may be unreliable if they did not observe the entire accident or did not have enough time to properly appreciate what was going on.
The defense attorney will question the witness in an effort to cast doubt on the credibility of the claim by creating the impression that the witness didn't actually observe what the prosecution says they did. The deposition of the witness will begin with the witness being asked to describe in detail what they witnessed during the crash and who they believe was at fault.
More than one witness can have a positive impact on your case.
Have No One to Testify? Get Legal Aid
It may seem difficult to find an eyewitness. Your initial reactions after an accident are likely to be shock and panic. How can you tell who witnessed the collision and who wasn't there?
If you've been hurt in a car accident, it's in your best interest to hire legal representation. A lawyer, such as Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, will investigate the case files and identify potential witnesses for you if possible. Photos and video footage may show you who was present at the scene. This is just one way your lawyer may identify potential witnesses.
Lawyers have the training and experience necessary to provide their clients the best possible opportunity of winning. Consult with Brandon J. Broderick today for a free case evaluation. Together, we will determine the best steps to take.