The recovery process after an accident is always difficult. You have to do everything you can to get your physical, mental, and emotional state back in order—and doing so takes both time and money. This process can be extra stressful if you are pursuing a personal injury claim in order to collect all the damages you are rightfully owed.
In its simplest terms, every personal injury claim comes down to two things: liability and damages. In other words, you want to prove that the other party caused the accident that caused your injuries. There is a wealth of ways you can go about doing this. One of the most significant is procuring an eyewitness testimony.
Once you secure an eyewitness testimony, your personal injury case ceases to be just one person’s word against another’s. On the contrary, you have someone else, a relatively objective third-party, to back up all your claims. In this blog post, we will discuss just some of the ways eyewitnesses can prove to be absolutely integral to a personal injury claim—and maybe even how you can make sure you have one on your side if the need arises.
Obviously, if you have a witness on your side, then your account of the accident must be at least partially correct. At the very least, it certainly proves that you were not at fault for the accident. However, witnesses can do more than just confirm your story—they can also add to it.
Because a witness is generally someone who was not directly involved in the accident, they have the added advantage of being removed from the situation. In other words, they can provide more context for how the accident occurred and supplement your own account with details that you may have initially missed while hopped up on adrenaline.
Furthermore, not every witness has to be an eyewitness. In other words, a witness does not even necessarily have to be someone who saw the accident occur. Rather, a witness can be someone who saw you directly after the accident occurred and can confirm that you were hurt. They can even be someone who heard a statement indicating fault after an accident.
Sometimes, the best witness accounts come from absolute strangers. This is true no matter what type of accident you have suffered. A witness stranger of a slip-and-fall accident, for example, may be able to attest to seeing several other accidents in that very location. This would not only verify your claim, but also add to it by revealing that the responsible party had repeatedly failed to take proper precautions.
For obvious reasons, it is easiest to procure a witness directly after an accident occurs. However, this may not always be possible. You may need to be rushed directly to the hospital, for example, or it may have simply just slipped your mind in the heat of the moment. Not to worry; you can look for witnesses by returning to the scene of the accident afterward.
Once you have returned to the scene of the accident, you will want to talk to people who live or work within the general vicinity. Because these people are likely to spend a lot of time in the area, it is possible that one of them directly witnessed the accident or heard about it from someone who did. Businesses may also have surveillance footage of the accident.
If you have suffered a traffic accident, you may want to also look at the police report (if one exists). If any police officers responded to the scene of the accident, odds are likely that they made a police report. This report may list names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses.
Once you have found a witness, it is important to act immediately. Write down their name and contact information. Do not push for any more information than a witness is willing to give. You do not want to scare away someone who is on your side.
If your witness is cooperative to the idea, you may want to ask them whether or not they would be open to you typing up their account and having them double-check it for accuracy. Written statements are important when dealing with insurance companies, so doing so may make the general process smoother for you.
If your witness is more reluctant to getting involved, you can simply jot down some quick notes on what they tell you. Ask them on the spot whether or not your notes are accurate. If possible, have them sign a piece of paper confirming that it is true. Again, you will want to make sure that you have their contact information in case the insurance company wants to get in touch with them.
Most of us spend a lot of time with those we know and love. It is not surprising, then, if your only witness is someone you know. No need to worry—you can still use this to your benefit. This is true whether they directly witnessed the accident itself or have just witnessed the pain and suffering it has inflicted on you.
Dealing with your friends, relatives, coworkers, or acquaintances as witnesses is exactly the same as it is to deal with witnesses who are total strangers. Actually, it is even better because you do not have to worry that they will go disappearing! In any case, you will want to act as soon as possible so you get the freshest account possible.
Whether or not you have procured any witnesses yet, if you or a loved one have recently suffered a personal injury, Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, we are ready and available to help victims all across the United States. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide personal injury attorneys. Let us help you.