What information should I get from witnesses after my car accident?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - March 2, 2023
If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury in a vehicle accident caused by another driver in Illinois, you should be able to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage expenses.
Protecting your right to compensation involves collecting information and evidence to support your claims. One of the most valuable pieces of evidence is witness testimony – statements made by people who were present at the scene.
Not only does witness testimony provide crucial details about how the crash happened, but their statements can help establish who was at fault. Keep reading to learn more about how a car accident witness can help your case, and how an attorney can help secure statements from these individuals.
Identifying potential witnesses
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, there may be various types of witnesses, including:
- Other drivers involved in the crash – Other drivers involved in the crash will likely have to give a statement, and what they say will be used by insurance carriers or during a personal injury trial.
- Passengers in involved vehicles – People often forget about passengers inside vehicles involved in the crash. These individuals can often provide valuable testimony about what happened inside their own vehicle and what they saw outside the vehicle before the crash occurred.
- Pedestrians or bystanders – If the accident occurred in a busy area, pedestrians or bystanders may have seen the incident unfold. Other potential bystanders include bicyclists, delivery people, and mailmen.
- Other drivers or cyclists in the area – Drivers or cyclists who were in the vicinity of the accident may have seen what happened.
- Business owners or employees near the scene – If the accident occurred near a business, employees or patrons may have witnessed the collision.
Information you should obtain from witnesses
Once you’ve identified potential witnesses, get their full name, phone number, and email address before leaving the scene of the accident. Your attorney can contact them and gather the following information:
- Description of what they saw or heard – Your attorney will encourage the witness to be as detailed as possible and to include any relevant information about the weather, road conditions, and other details pertinent to the crash.
- Their location at the time of the crash – Finding out where the witness was standing or in what direction they were traveling can help establish their vantage point and perspective on the crash.
- Photos or videos – Your attorney will ask the witness to provide their photographs or videos of the incident. These materials can provide critical evidence in your case.
How your attorney will use car accident witness information
Your attorney will use witness information to help build a strong case on your behalf. They’ll review the statements and testimony of each witness to determine the sequence of events leading up to the accident and to establish liability.
If necessary, your attorney may call witnesses to testify in court or use their statements to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
In some cases, car accident witness testimony can be the difference between a successful outcome and a denied claim. For example, if there is a dispute over who was at fault in the accident, the testimony of a neutral witness can help prevent one party from shifting blame away from the liable party.
Hurt in a crash? We’re here to help.
By identifying potential witnesses, obtaining their contact information and statements, and working with an experienced attorney, you can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Remember to be courteous and respectful when speaking with witnesses and to thank them for their time and assistance in helping establish the facts of the crash.
For more information or to schedule a free review of your case, call Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates at (800) 985-1819.