If you want to get compensation after a motor vehicle crash, you must be able to prove the other driver is at fault. Many factors help with determining fault in car accidents, including witness statements. Gathering witness recollections is one effective way to bolster your claim.
The insurance company will likely challenge your pursuit of compensation every step of the way. But if you have credible witnesses, you can prove fault and collect your compensation more easily.
Identifying and approaching witnesses
If you have serious injuries and are unable to move, do not worry about obtaining witness statements; your health and well-being are more important. But if you are physically able, you should talk to witnesses between the time of the crash and when the police arrive. Witnesses may be drivers, passengers, nearby businesses owner or employees, road workers and pedestrians. Look for people who are close to the scene of the accident. Identify yourself as a victim of the crash and ask these individuals if they are willing to describe the events.
Factors impacting credibility
You want statements from trustworthy and reliable witnesses. Here are some characteristics that may influence credibility:
- Whether the witness is related to or friends with anyone in the crash
- Whether the witness saw the entire accident
- Whether the witness was driving and actively trying to avoid the collision
- Whether the witness has any physical or mental conditions that may impact seeing, hearing or understanding
If a witness lacks credibility, the testimony may hinder your personal injury claim.
The police report
While it can be helpful to talk to witnesses and write down their statements, it is also vital to make sure the police come to the scene of the accident. The police officer will talk to any witnesses who stick around and include their statements in a report. Police reports are often one of the most important determining factors in car accident claims.