Here is what you need to know when approaching eyewitnesses to an auto accident you were involved in.
Many car accidents result in serious injuries that leave the victim with piling medical bills, lost wages, and income opportunities, and maybe even lost relationships or mental injuries.
Filing a claim to cover these expenses can be stressful, and a good start is crucial for building a strong case. Whether you have just been in an accident or you just want to be prepared for whatever may happen in the future, here is what you need to know about approaching eyewitnesses at the scene of a car accident you were involved in.
Potential Eyewitnesses to Your Accident
An eyewitness refers to anyone who saw or witnessed the accident. Their testimony may be used in your injury case. However, selecting the correct eyewitness is essential to help support your claim. The most credible eyewitnesses are critical. For instance, the person who saw the accident’s events unfold and take place is more credible than the person who showed up after the fact.
Potential eyewitnesses to your accident may include:
- Other drivers on the road
- Passengers in other vehicles
- People inside nearby homes
- People inside nearby businesses
- Pedestrians in the vicinity of the accident
- People who stopped to help
The people who witnessed the events that led up to the accident may provide crucial testimony. They may have seen the other driver texting or talking on their phone or driving negligently in some other way.
How Witness Testimonies are Obtained
Sometimes, a witness to the accident will step forward and offer a statement. If you are not seriously injured and it’s safe, talk to the other drivers or people in the area who witnessed the accident and ask for their contact information.
If you suffered severe injuries and couldn’t get that contact information or didn’t get it for any other reason, that’s ok. This is where our attorneys will help. We will gather eyewitness information from the police reports or by visiting the scene of the accident and speaking to people who may have been in their homes or places of work at the time.
Find the Most Valuable Eyewitnesses
The best eyewitness accounts will be provided by the people who were close to the place where the cars crashed and had a good view of the incident. An observant eyewitness can provide valuable testimony, so look for people who are reactive and seem to respond to the accident quickly.
If you are fortunate enough, you might have eyewitnesses who work as first responders, like doctors, police officers, or firefighters off duty. However, any eyewitness can be an asset for your case, as long as their testimony is reliable and doesn’t contain discrepancies.
Ask for Their Contact Information
After being in a car crash, you might already be very busy calling the police, talking to paramedics or police officers, or even dealing with dangerous situations. If your health allows it, try to get as contact information from as many eyewitnesses as possible.
The police might do that too, but it’s best that, if possible, you have the information as well so that your St. Louis auto accident attorney can ask for additional information from them if needed.
Ask the Eyewitness What They Saw
Ask concise, simple questions, like “What did you see, exactly?”, and avoid redirecting the conversation to a vague area. They might be under the influence of adrenaline, too, and may provide inaccurate or unverified information. Let them vent out, avoid being part of the assumptions, and try to get as many facts from them as possible.
How Testimony from an Eyewitness to Your Car Accident Can Help Your Claim
An eyewitness statement can impact your injury claim because it can be a crucial piece of evidence to help prove the other party is at fault and, therefore, liable for your damages.
Eyewitness statements are usually gathered before a lawsuit is filed at the beginning of the claims process. Your attorney may provide an eyewitness statement that implicates the other driver. This may persuade their insurance company to offer a settlement out of court. In many cases, the insurance company will deny liability without credible eyewitness testimonies, making it much more challenging to recover damages.
Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
It is a good idea to speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. They can contact eyewitnesses on your behalf.
Eyewitness testimonies can weigh heavily in an insurance claim, especially when liability is hard to prove otherwise. Knowing how to approach them, what questions to ask, and how can give you valuable information that could help your case.
Of course, that requires a lot of work, but your car accident lawyer can take this burden off your shoulders.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free, and you don’t pay unless we get you money!