Are Witnesses Important for My Car Accident Case?
Witnesses may confirm or refute what one or both drivers say about a car accident. After a car accident, it is important to file an insurance claim and present evidence, including witness testimony. Finding credible witnesses and collecting their statements is part of the process.
Who Qualifies as a Credible Witness?
A credible witness is someone whose statement is seen as reliable or impartial. A best friend or close family member of one of the drivers might have a conflict of interest. A third party with no strong connections to either driver might be considered more objective by comparison. There are other several factors to consider:
- Honesty: Whether or not a witness has a reputation for honesty is a major influence on their credibility.
- Distraction: It is also important to establish whether or not any witnesses were preoccupied when the accident occurred. A third-party driver may have been too busy trying to avoid the collision to take a close look at the other cars.
- Timing: How much of the accident a witness saw is an important consideration. A witness who saw the accident from start to finish may have more testimony.
- Nearness to the accident: Other concerns include proximity. A person standing 10 feet from the scene of the accident could have had a clearer view than someone 10 yards away.
- Physical condition: The state of the witness can influence their credibility. If they have poor eyesight, consider whether or not they wore corrective lenses at the time. Witnesses with poor hearing may not be able to report conversations or certain sounds of the collision. A person with a weak memory may not be able to provide much testimony.
How Do I Collect Witness Statements?
When gathering information from a witness, record their name, address, telephone number, and other contact information. Also note, through writing or video, what they saw or heard. If they provide statements in your favor, such as believing the other driver is liable, ask them to explain their reasoning. If you are taking written statements, ask the witness to sign their name and write the date on every page.
What if There Are No Witnesses?
If there are no witnesses, you may still have a case. There are other forms of evidence, including:
- Medical records: Getting medical attention is priority if you or others have been injured. One purpose this serves is to alleviate any harm incurred and to prevent or reduce long-term damage. Another is to create a record of any medical evaluations.
- Photographs: Photographing the scene of the accident from multiple angles, documenting the state of both cars, the weather, lighting, traffic signs, road conditions, and other details might also help with your claim.
A lawyer can help you collect the information you need to make a claim. If you have trouble finding witnesses, they can find other ways to build your case.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Provide Legal Assistance
If you have been involved in an accident and wish to explore your legal options, reach out to one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.