Filing a personal injury claim after a car accident can be a complex and overwhelming process. This is especially true in cases where there are no witnesses to back up the claims of either driver.
Witnesses can offer valuable evidence that helps drivers and their insurance providers determine who was at fault. This helps you obtain compensation for damages as well as avoid the challenges that can arise when dealing with insurance companies.
The following will help you understand the importance of witnesses in a car accident as well as the ways in which you can gather the evidence that will help you achieve a successful claim.
The Value of Witnesses
Witness testimony is critical to personal injury and other legal claims. Evidence gathered from witnesses can ultimately compel insurance companies to settle claims rather than challenge them.
It’s a good idea to identify any witnesses when you’re involved in a car accident. More importantly, consulting with a skilled attorney will help you evaluate the quality of witness evidence in order to determine if it will support your case.
Accident witnesses can include business owners and their employees, construction crews, and individuals who help the individuals involved in the accident.
Knowing who may potentially be a witness makes it easy for you to gather evidence quickly after the accident has occurred.
In addition, many car accidents may have non-human witnesses. These include video from surveillance cameras on traffic signs and nearby homes and businesses. This evidence can be gathered with the help of your attorney, and it should not be overlooked when identifying witnesses for your case.
How to Identify Witnesses
You can identify witnesses at the scene of the accident. Look to see who is watching and ask them what they saw. Some individuals may arrive after the accident has occurred while others may have seen the entire event unfold.
If you fail to identify witnesses at the scene, you can review the police report, as the officer may have identified witnesses without your knowledge. Obtaining a copy of the accident report is critical to getting witnesses to support your case.
You can also revisit the scene of the accident and inquire with local businesses and residences. Their occupants may have seen the accident occur without leaving their properties.
Finally, if you’ve already identified witnesses, you can ask them if they were with others at the time in which the accident occurred. This can give you additional testimonies to support the claims of you and your existing witnesses.
Gathering Information From Witnesses
Once you’ve confirmed the safety of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident, you can begin to inquire about any potential witnesses. It’s important to calmly identify yourself to others and ask them what they saw.
Some witnesses may have trouble confirming specific details about the accident. Take your time and let the witness think through the events that took place. If what they saw confirms your own testimony, you’ll need them to agree to provide their account as evidence.
Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information. It may be helpful to record their testimony at the scene, but this isn’t essential when gathering evidence.
You may collect their testimony at a later time as long as you have their contact information. You may also deliver a written and signed testimony from a witness to your insurance provider.
Witness testimony can be extremely valuable in supporting your claim after a car accident. It can provide the evidence you need when dealing with insurance companies so that you avoid any attempts at denying your claim.
Knowing how to identify witnesses and gather evidence can lead to a successful personal injury claim. You’ll be more likely to receive the compensation you deserve so that you can achieve a full recovery.