The development, as well as settlement of automobile accident cases, is a very contentious affair. With both parties trying to acquit themselves by putting the best case at their end, it can often end up as a ‘my word versus his word’ scenario with no clear resolution in sight. In such times, a third-party witness, someone who happened to have been in close proximity during an Car Accident can be a valuable resource to help establish the facts of the case.
Witnesses are also the first people to establish contact with the injured and can offer context to the incident like the physical and environmental factors that could have caused the accident, the temperament of the drivers. With today’s technological sophistication, witnesses may even have video recordings that aid the discovery of facts at an accident site.
Value Added from Witness Testimony
For these exact reasons, witness statements are an important accessory that a victim can use while presenting a case. In an accident scenario, it is always recommended that you take down written statements from witnesses present at the site, and utilize those effectively to build a case with your lawyer. Here are some value adds that a witness testimony
1. Neutral Parties (Added credibility)
Witnesses statements act as neutral third-party evidence that can corroborate to your account of the accident. However, one has to be careful while choosing witnesses to pick people who were neither at-fault nor were harmed in the accident. Thus, having no skin in the game, they tend to help the victim by confirming to the story with an unbiased version
2. Establishment of Fault
In a case of ‘he said, she said,’ a witness testimony can clearly point to the at-fault party and help quickly clarify the case. They can confirm a driver’s use of the mobile phone, or the driver taking a wrong turn and speed up the resolution of the case.
3. Fill in Information Gaps
One major issue with accident claims is the fact that memory gaps may arise in the story. Often times, even the victim, due to pure trauma of the accident, is unable to recall all the tiny details that can make or break the case. Witness testimonies, especially extremely detailed ones can help fill gaps like ‘Was there a dog crossing the street that made the driver swerve the car?’. As they say, the devil is in the detail, and with accident cases, witness testimonies are a good tool to establish details that help you secure a victory.
4. Admission of Fault
As mentioned above, witnesses are the first people to establish contact with both (or multiple) parties involved in the crash. As such, they see and observe the whole saga unfold. Thus, a witness might hear the at-fault party admitting blame at the scene of the crash, and provide the same through a written statement that can clarify matters easily.
5. Aide Quick Settlement
Above all, a witness is a neutral third party who can offer a trove of insight into the entire accident. A detailed written statement from a witness is a powerful piece that adds a whole new level of credibility to the case and can help reach a fair and speedy settlement, which is all the victim wants.
The Question of Credibility
One of the biggest concerns while looking at building an accident case using witness testimonies is their credibility. Victims are right to naturally assume a show of good faith from the witnesses in sharing an honest narration of the incident.
However, there may be instances that make you question the credibility of the witnesses. They could relate to the location and viewpoint of the witness like Did the witness actually observe the accident from start to finish? Or was their attention drawn to the accident at the sound of the first vehicle impact?
There may also be questions relating to the character of the witness, like Are they a convicted felon? or about health factors like Are they 100% of fit body and mind?
Unfortunately, these are tough decisions and ones that can only be answered through experience. Experienced personal injury lawyers at Greathouse LLC have worked on over 1000+ cases and developed a keen eye to find honest reliable and presentable witnesses that can help you secure the settlement you deserve. If you’ve been in a car accident and want our expert to help you build a winning case, contact attorney Riah Greathouse today!