When two drivers are involved in a car accident, figuring out what transpired can be difficult since each driver sees things from his or her own perspective. This often leads drivers to miss certain factors. This is why having the observations of a third party witness can greatly help.
Depending upon what the witness recalls, having his or her statement can either help or hurt your car accident claim.
How Can You Obtain a Witness Statement?
If you believe that someone who witnessed the accident may be of help to your claim, you can ask him or her if they would be willing to write down what they remember about the accident. It’s important to note that witnesses are not legally obligated to remain at the scene or give any type of statement. However, if your potential witness agrees to speak with you and provide their account of what transpired, it’s important to retain their personal contact information, such as name, address, and even phone number.
Don’t worry about the legal formalities of collecting a witness statement. Simply ask the witness to sign and date each page of their statement. If you are recording their statement – whether audio or video – first you will want to ask their permission to do so. Then once you get home and are able, make a copy of the witness statement and provide it to your attorney.
Will A Witness Statement Help or Hurt Your Claim?
In order to recover in a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a car accident, you must be able to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. A witness can help to prove (or disprove) your case by sharing if the other driver was distracted, speeding, seemed intoxicated, or disobeyed any traffic laws at the time of the accident. What a witness did – and didn’t – see can ultimately change the outcome of your case. This is why it’s so important that your witness is credible.
Credibility goes far in court when it comes to any witness. If a witness is deemed very credible, what he or she says will be weighed heavily by the jury. If the witness has questionable credibility, what he or she says will likely not be given much weight at all.
There are a number of factors that help to establish the credibility of a witness. They include the following:
- Whether witness statements have remained consistent throughout the entire process
- Whether the witness’ testimony is believable
- Whether the witness lied about any part of his or her story
- The character of the witness
- Whether the witness had an unobstructed view of the scene of the accident
- Whether the witness has a criminal record
- Whether the witness has any bias towards how the claim is resolved
Your attorney may choose to cross-examine a witness who lacks credibility in order to bolster your claim.
The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Such injuries can be catastrophic and have a long-lasting impact on numerous aspects of your life.
The Michigan car accident attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!