Finding the Best Witnesses for Your Car Accident Case
All multi-vehicle accidents have at least two witnesses: the drivers of the cars involved in the collision. Passengers may also weigh in if present…but because drivers and passengers both have a stake in the outcome of the case, third-party testimony may carry more weight than either party’s account. Thankfully, most people who witness a car accident stop to help, and many even provide a statement to police on the spot.
When it comes to determining fault and compensation in court, eyewitnesses are only one potential source for testimony. You can enroll experts to analyze the harms and outcomes of the accident to show that the other driver carried most of the fault.
Act Fast to Get Eyewitness Info
Even if you don’t plan to take a case to court at the time of the wreck, it’s important to get witness information and other evidence. First, because you may not notice an injury in your shock. And second, because you want to be able to protect yourself if the other driver tries to blame you for what happened.
After witnesses leave the scene of the wreck, they’ll be virtually impossible to find again. At the very least, do your best to get their contact information (address, phone number, email, and maybe even the number of a friend or family member who can help you reach them). For those witnesses you’re not able to speak with at the time, jot down a license plate number to help you find them later. You’ll want to make sure you don’t lose these details—we suggest keeping them in a note on your phone or sending them to yourself in an email.
Just getting a witness doesn’t guarantee they’ll be of help in an insurance or court case. When talking to them, make sure their account of the accident matches yours. Judgeswill not award compensation to any party who was more at fault for an accident. If they believe you are to blame, politely thank them for their time and continue to the next witness.
Is My Witness Credible?
Not all witnesses are created equal. Just as insurance adjusters and judges assume that all parties involved in a wreck will try to protect their own interests, they may also discount the testimony of certain individuals. Here are some questions to consider when it comes to selecting the best witnesses.
- Did the witness see what caused the crash, or did they only look over after hearing it happen?
- Is the witness stating the facts, or are they sharing opinions, other people’s thoughts, or conjecture?
- Was the witness distracted by something else (avoiding the accident, caring for a dependent, etc.) when the crash occurred?
- Is the witness of sound mind and body?
Determining Damages Through Witness Testimony
Even if car insurance covered most, or all, of the damage to your vehicle, there are many other costs associated with a car accident. The more you can determine, the more compensation you will be eligible for. Bring in specialized witnesses to help build your case for a fair payout.
Economists Help Calculate Monetary Losses
From repair costs under your deductible to taking an uber to missed work, an economist can give you a big-picture view of your losses after an accident. They may also be able to predict future losses, meaning you might get a bigger settlement.
Roadway Design Experts Assign Fault Elsewhere
Experts with experience in engineering, transportation, and traffic safety may be able to reduce or eliminate the amount of fault assigned to you by testifying about dangerous road construction or conditions that contributed to your crash. Remember, if you are found to be at fault for an accident, you won’t get any compensation at all.
Doctors and Mental Healthcare Professionals Lay Out Harms
Even if your medical bills have finally been paid off after an accident, that doesn’t mean you won’t have more related expenses down the road. Medical expert testimony can help you seek compensation not just for the suffering you’ve already been through, but the continued difficulties, discomfort, and treatment that may follow you into the future.
Use Witnesses to Strengthen Your Case
At the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C., we are committed to helping our clients earn the compensation they deserve after an accident. We are here to help you compile evidence, find witnesses, and build a case to prove someone else’s negligence has harmed you.
Contact us now to discuss your car accident case by calling (512) 271-5278 or visiting us online.