The Importance of Witness Statements in Personal Injury Claims
Drivers who were in a car accident often share conflicting stories of what took place. When accounts are significantly different, it can be challenging for the courts or insurance companies to understand exactly what happened and who is at fault. In these situations, statements from a neutral third party witness can provide helpful details of what happened.
If you’re suffering from injuries or damages after a car accident, your Las Vegas car accident lawyer may contact a witness who observed the scene to strengthen your claim.
How Can a Witness Help My Car Accident Claim?
A third party witness will be a person who has no bias toward you or another driver and is able to provide an objective account of what they observed at the scene of your accident. They may be able to provide more accurate information and details than either of the drivers because they were not injured and were uninvolved. After an accident, it can be crucial to obtain a witness statement immediately while their memory is fresh. If their observations of the events fit with your version, the court or insurance adjuster’s determination can be significantly affected.
What Variables Affect Witness Credibility?
Your Las Vegas truck accident lawyer will attempt to find a credible witness who can support your claim. The insurance company will probably attempt to call their validity into question, especially in very large claims, so it’s crucial to determine a witness’s credibility before asking them to testify in court. This includes:
- Vantage point: The witness must have had a good view of the scene, including before and after the collision. It’s ideal if they observed the scene before they heard tires squealing or the cars colliding.
- Activity: It’s important that a witness was not distracted during the event. This includes being distracted by another driver who attempted to avoid the accident, talking to another pedestrian, or on their phone.
- Health: A significant health issue can affect the way the witness observed the event, such as a diagnosis of dementia or poor hearing or eyesight, or if they were drunk at the time of the collision.
- Character: If the defendant can question the witness’s honesty, consistency, or accuracy, their testimony can be dismissed. Your witness will need to have good behavior in court and ideally not have any felonies or criminal history.
After you file a claim, the insurance company will contact each witness and get a recorded statement that they will take into consideration when analyzing the accident and determining who was at fault. If your case goes to court, your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer may call him or her to testify.
What Claims Can a Witness Make?
Witnesses can support your claims in a variety of ways. These include:
- Supporting claims of innocence: Compensation can be reduced or even eliminated if a party is found to be at least 51% responsible for the accident. Witness testimony can help a party prove their innocence or lack of responsibility for an accident by describing the position of vehicles, their driving speeds, and other details.
- Supporting claims of guilt: Witness statements can help you prove who was at fault for the crash. This is especially helpful if you are seeking compensation because your compensation will be reduced by whatever percentage you are found to be at fault. Defendants may use a witness to try to prove that the other driver was responsible.
- Support claims of injury: A statement from a witness can help prove your claims of injury by testifying to what happened at the scene and how you acted immediately after the collision. Your attitude and actions at the scene may be used to determine whether your injuries are as severe as claimed.
- Discredit claims of injury: Just like a witness testimony can support a claim of injury, they can also discredit claims. For example, if a driver was walking around after the accident or saying that he felt fine, questions may arise as to the severity of the injuries or if pre existing conditions worsened after the accident.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
After an accident, your health and safety is a primary concern. In some cases, you may have been unable to talk with witnesses because you needed medical attention. Your Las Vegas truck accident lawyer can interview witnesses on your behalf, evaluate the circumstances, gather evidence, and conduct an investigation. Additionally, your attorney can represent you in negotiations with insurance companies and take your case to court if necessary.
Let Us Represent Your Interests
If you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident in Nevada, contact Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC to discuss representation. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf to investigate, credible interview witnesses, and gather valuable evidence. Our approach works: since 2004, we have settled over $215 million for our clients! Contact us today to schedule your obligation-free consultation!