When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to get witness statements as soon as possible. You may struggle to build a personal injury claim without witness statements to back up the events and details of the accident.
Here are four reasons you should always try to get witness statements following an auto accident, especially if you’re injured:
1. Support Your Claim of Innocence
If you weren’t at fault for the accident, witness statements could help prove it. Your testimony may not be enough to convince an insurance company or judge that you’re not liable. But if other people saw the accident and can attest to what happened, your case will be much stronger.
2. Add Credibility to Claims of Injury
If you plan to enlist the help of an auto accident attorney to get compensation for your car crash injuries, witness statements are crucial. Your attorney can use them to prove that you sustained injuries in the crash and that the injuries happened due to the collision. If it’s just your word against the accused, you’ll struggle to convince a court to agree in your favor.
3. Preserve the Facts
From the time of an accident until the time a case goes to trial, a lot can happen. Memories fade, people move away, and evidence disappears. Witness statements preserve what people saw and heard immediately after an accident while everything is still fresh in their minds.
4. Prove Negligence
If you’re suing someone for negligence, witness statements can show that the defendant didn’t take reasonable care to avoid causing a collision. For example, if a driver ran a stop sign and hit your car, a witness statement from someone saying they saw the driver run the stop sign can help prove negligence.
Gathering Witness Statements
When gathering witness statements, the people you want to talk to include:
- Pedestrians or cyclists nearby
- Anyone who stopped to help you after the crash
- Nearby business owners or customers
- Drivers and passengers of nearby cars
- Those who live near the scene of the incident
To do so, ask politely for their version of events. Get their name, contact information, and a brief statement about what they saw. It’s essential to get this information as soon after the accident as possible. People’smemories fade quickly, so it’s best to act while everything is still fresh in their minds.
If you can’t get witness statements at the scene of the accident, you may be able to track down witnesses later. Check local businesses for security footage that may have captured the collision. And reach out to the police department to see if they have any additional information about witnesses.
Witness Statements to Strengthen Your Case
Getting witness statements as soon after an accident as possible is always a good idea. But if you couldn’t get them at the time of the accident, don’t despair. An experienced auto accident attorney can still help you build a strong case.
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