Importance of Getting Witness Statements After a Car AccidentBy Stewart J. Guss on May 17th, 2018
It is your turn at a four-way stop, and as you enter the intersection, another driver completely ignores the stop sign and slams into your car. You know that you came to a complete stop—and the other driver didn’t. When you get out of the car, however, that driver OF COURSE claims to have stopped and that YOU went out of turn. At this point, it feels like it is your word against the other driver’s—and this he-said/she-said situation happens all too often.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that drivers don’t like to admit their mistakes. When someone is at fault in an accident, they risk their insurance rates going up or even having to pay out of pocket for the injuries and damage they have caused. If they broke a law, the police may issue a citation or even arrest them if the accident involved drunk driving or road rage. Without such citations or arrests, however, how can you prove the other driver was at fault?
One powerful tool in car accidents cases are the statements of witnesses to the crash. Many times after a crash, you will see numerous people standing around at the scene—and this is often because people who saw the crash also stopped. They may stop to make sure everyone’s okay and to provide help—but if they saw what happened, their description of what they saw can become central to your car accident case.
At the law office of Stewart J. Guss, our attorneys know the importance of finding and using witness statements after an accident. We can build a comprehensive case to support your claim and stand up for your right to compensation for your injuries and losses. We have more than 20 years of experience representing injured clients, and we know what’s important during the legal process. If you were injured call, (800) 898-4877 or to discuss your rights.
An Objective Perspective
Drivers involved in a crash have an incentive to not tell the truth about what happened. Do you think a teenaged driver is going to immediately admit to texting? Drivers often want to avoid the consequences of their negligent acts, so you can’t always trust their statements. And even in their attempts to tell the truth, their statements and explanations can contain biases.
Some lawyers don’t bother with witness statements and may try to tackle a case with only your account of what happened. Our attorneys know that if witnesses are available, their statements can prove extremely important to your case, and we’ll take the time to get complete statements from them whenever possible.
Getting Statements as Soon as Possible
The timing of a witness statement can prove critical. Witnesses don’t have to deal with injuries or property damage after accidents. Seeing a crash is often just a story they tell their co-workers and families before they move on with their lives, and it’s all too easy for them to forget key details about what they saw. Because memories fade, however, it’s important to get their statements as soon after the accident as possible.
We know that A LOT is happening at the scene of an accident. Paramedics and police will want to talk to you, towtrucks may need to move cars, and you may need to go for an ambulance ride. However, if your injuries and situation allow it, make sure to talk to the witnesses who stopped. Get their names and phone numbers and ask if they’re willing to give a statement. They may send you an email or text with their descriptions of how the crash happened. Even if you can’t talk to witnesses due to your injuries, if you are able, ask police if they’ll gather the contact information so you can get it from the police report.
The sooner we can contact witnesses in your case, the better. So, after a crash, don’t delay in contacting our firm’s experienced intake department. If you wait too long to get your case started, the witness’s memory can fade or they can become distracted by other things in their lives. The sooner we can talk to them, the more they may help your claim.
How Statements Can Help
Witness statements and depositions can provide an extremely persuasive negotiating tactic. Negligent drivers may prove more willing to agree to fair settlements for the victim if they know that an objective person is willing to stand up and call their actions negligent. If a case does go to trial, having your witness take the stand may persuade a jury to find the case in your favor.
Our Car Accident Lawyers Will Go to Work for You
Witness statements can provide powerful evidence in any car accident claim. Our attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, understand the many ways to gather and present evidence to support our clients’ claims. We will do everything possible to protect your rights and won’t stop negotiating until you obtain the settlement or award you deserve. Our services won’t cost you a DIME unless you receive payment. Please call us today at (800) 898-4877 or to set up your free consultation.