If you’ve ever filed a car accident injury claim, you know one of the first questions the insurance adjusters will ask is “do you have any witnesses?” But why are witnesses so important?
In most instances, drivers will have conflicting versions of the incident. This means the insurance adjusters must decide which account is more accurate. They will make this determination based on the evidence they have collected as well as witness testimony.
Who can serve as a witness?
A witness is anyone who was not directly involved in the accident but saw something that may have bearing on your claim. A person could be a witness to the accident itself or how your injuries have impacted your way of life.
An independent witness is a person who has information that is pertinent to the case but has no connection to either driver. An independent witness will be more likely to give an unbiased statement and offer clarity on the incident.
Are all witnesses credible?
A witness’ testimony can only help your case if the witness is credible. The insurance adjuster may ask some of the following questions to determine the credibility of a witness:
- Where was the witness at the time of the accident?
- Was the witness also driving and was likely more focused on avoiding the accident than seeing what was happening?
- Did the witness observe the accident from beginning to end or was their attention drawn to the accident after they heard the impact of the vehicles?
- Is the witness relating information from their observations or are simply repeating information they heard from someone else?
- Does the witness have a criminal record?
- Is the witness known to be a dishonest person?
- Is the witness a friend or family member or anyone else who may have a personal interest in the outcome of the case?
- Was the witness under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident?
- Does the witness have memory problems or is the witness easily confused?
Selecting the right witnesses
Even if a witness is honest, this doesn’t mean that they will be helpful to your claim since people observe and interpret things differently. For example, one witness may say the vehicle that hit you was speeding, while another may say that vehicle was travelling within the speed limit. Both witnesses may be telling the truth based on their interpretation of the events. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you choose your witnesses carefully. Only present the insurance company with witnesses who will support your account of events.
If you were injured in an accident and need help screening witnesses to determine which ones might be helpful in your claim, you may need the help of an accident injury attorney. An accident injury attorney will not only help you to identify suitable witnesses but also find other evidence to help prove your account of events.
Are you looking for a Beverly Hills car accident attorney?
If you are searching for a Beverly Hills car accident attorney, contact us at West Seber Bulger.
At West Seber Bulger we believe that people who have been injured deserve a voice in the legal system and we will fight to ensure you get compensation for the harm you have suffered by the wrongdoing of another party.
So, what are you waiting for? Call us today to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss how we can help.