Every year, approximately 37,000 people die because of car accidents. On top of that, another 2 million people suffer injuries that are permanent or severe. To have a stable car accident case, evidence is vital. In some cases, both parties may believe that they were innocent. The at-fault party may try to lie, saying that they weren’t driving negligently.
In order to prove that they were, in fact, putting others in danger with their driving, you’ll need concrete evidence that supports this fact. While there are many types of evidence you can collect, witness statements are essential.
How to Gather Witness’ Contact Information After a Car Accident
After you’re involved in a car accident, you may seem overwhelmed by everything that’s going on. But it’s important to stay at the scene of the accident to gather information. While gathering the contact information from witnesses is important, you should also:
- Take pictures
- Take notes
- Write or record a personal statement
- Note any businesses in the area that could have security footage of the accident
When it comes to speaking with witnesses, you want to do so as soon as you can after the collision. Some witnesses may not want to speak to the investigating police officer, so get their contact information and forward it along to your attorney once you’ve hired one. However, encourage them to stay and speak to the police, as a witness statement on your side documented on a police report can be invaluable.
Witness Statements Can:
There are many ways that a witness statement can help your case, but most importantly they help to paint a clear picture of how the accident happened, helping to determine not only who was at fault but how the accident occurred.
Support Claims of Innocence
Whether or not you receive compensation (or how much compensation you receive) depends on whether or not you were at-fault for the accident in any way. With witness statements, insurance companies, judges, and juries, will have a clearer picture of the accident, and they’ll be able to accurately judge whether or not you were at-fault in any way.
As only witnesses (and photographic or video evidence) will be able to explain how the accident occurred, having their statements is essential.
Support Claims of Guilt
Not only that, but witness statements can also help to support claims of guilt. Witnesses will be able to explain how the accident happened from their viewpoint, oftentimes referring to one of the parties as the reason the accident occurred. Whether they saw them speeding, texting, or swerving, most witnesses will be able to state who they believe the guilty party was.
Support Claims of Injury
Sometimes, insurance adjusters won’t believe that the injuries one sustained actually occurred as a result of the car accident. Witness statements will be able to help confirm that the injuries were a result of the accident. In the same vein, they can also discredit injuries that they don’t believe happened at the scene of the accident.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Good and Bad Witness
If you’ve seen any movie that has a court case, you know just how bad some witnesses can be. These bad witnesses aren’t just fictional, unfortunately. For witness statements to be helpful, they also have to come from a credible source.
This level of believability and trustworthiness is important, as their witness statement is useless without it. Not only that, but a witness that isn’t credible can damage your case, finding you guilty by association.
For a witness to be credible, they must:
- Have a consistent story of what happened. Their testimonies and statements must be consistent across the board. If their story keeps changing, they aren’t a credible source.
- Have actually seen or heard the auto accident.
- Be able to recall the event accurately.
- Be telling the whole truth about the accident.
- Have a statement that seems plausible.
- Have a statement that lines up with other witness’ statements.
- Be an unbiased witness, meaning they don’t care or have any stake in the outcome of the case.
Other Types of Evidence That Will Help Support Your Claim
There are many other types of evidence that can help your car accident claim, such as photographs and videos. There are two types of evidence, the type that you collect right after the accident and the kind that your attorney will collect as a part of their own investigation.
Your attorney may hire a mechanic to look over the vehicles involved, or they may speak with doctors to accident recreation specialists to paint a better picture of what happened and who’s at fault.
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, please contact our talented team of attorneys here at The Eberst Law Firm. Hiring an attorney will help to ensure that you get the most compensation possible for your injuries.