How to Take a Witness Statement

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How to Take a Witness Statement

Being injured during a car accident is a scary event. You should already be aware that requesting emergency first aid, if necessary, and calling the scene of the accident into the authorities are required actions, but locating any eyewitnesses is also important. Taking their statements regarding what they saw could be critical to successfully obtaining financial reimbursement if you have sustained an injury. Eyewitnesses are also able to help shed some light on your case should the evidence be used in court. Detailed below is how to effectively write a witness statement in just a few simple steps.

After the police and paramedics have been notified and you have swapped contact information and other details with the other driver involved in your collision, adhering to the steps listed below when taking down a witness statement or requesting that someone take it on your behalf, will go a long way towards getting you the proof that you need to win your case.

Include Witness Details

How to Take a Witness Statement

There is a reason why collecting eyewitnesses details at the scene is so significant and things will go much more smoothly if you incorporate them into your personal account. You will need the witness’s name and address in case any additional correspondence becomes necessary, like your attorney having further questions, so be sure to include them with your statement to help keep things moving along.

Where the Witness Was Located 

It is also essential to ask the witness to describe to you precisely where they were when the accident took place. For instance, they may have been strolling past when it occurred, or they may have been driving behind or in front of the actual accident. Even someone doing something as minor as exiting a nearby store when the crash happened might have something to contribute in your favor.

All of these little details put together will give a much more comprehensive narrative to help make your case more powerful.

Record the Witness’ Words

This is quite possibly the most vital component to the witness statement that you are taking. First of all, you must write down what the eyewitness says verbatim and in the first person singular, meaning you will be writing everything down as though it was coming directly from the witness.

It is crucial to be as specific as you possibly can but refrain from pushing the witness too hard. 

Their statement should also talk about what they observed concerning whether or not anyone appeared to be injured or disoriented when they got out of their car, whether or not they traded their contact information, and if the police and/or the paramedics were notified.

Diagram, if Necessary

Depending on the kind of accident, you might want to ask the eyewitness to draw a rudimentary layout of exactly what they saw. Now, a standard rear-end collision may not necessarily demand an artistic rendering, it may aid your cause by way of urging your eyewitness to recall more aspects of the crash then they would have remembered otherwise. 

Read the Statement Back

Although this is not a part of the actual witness statement itself, it is important that you read the completed statement back to your witness. The reason for this is because it gives your witness the opportunity to revise anything that they have said on the off chance that something was misunderstood or possibly taken down inaccurately, or you may have even neglected to include a crucial piece of information that would greatly help your case.

Date and Sign

The final thing to add to your witness statement is to get the witness to sign and date their statement. This will provide you with proof that the statement was recorded on the day of the accident and also establish how much time elapsed between the accident and the witness’s retelling. Their signature also confirms that they witnessed the crash and that the facts given in their statements are accurate and true, eliminating any possibility of your witness suddenly going back on word and recanting their account of what happened.

When to Write a Witness Statement

Ideally, your witness statement will be written as soon as possible after the accident. Psychological studies have revealed that humans memory are very flawed. Over time, personal bias can sneak into narratives that people tell and witnesses can sometimes absorb additional details and include them in their own story without even realizing they are doing so. Also, a lot of the time, witnesses forget exactly what it was that they saw.

So, taking a witness statement as soon as possible means that it is more inclined to be reliable as opposed to a witness statement that might be taken sometime down the road.

What to do With the Witness Statement

At this point, it is best to either give the witness statement to the police so that they can go ahead with your case or leave the job to an experienced personal injury attorney to deal with on your behalf. 

If you or somebody that you love has been injured in an automobile accident, the personal injury attorneys at Injury Victim Law are on your side. We have the knowledge and the background that are necessary for helping you receive the financial settlement to which Colorado law says you are entitled. 

With an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of Colorado’s legal system, our skilled personal injury attorneys know exactly what it takes to achieve a successful outcome to your case. They pride themselves on their exceptional and distinguished reputations and the vast legal knowledge that they have obtained during their careers.

If you have recently been injured due to the negligence of another driver, then we strongly urge you to reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney by giving us a call at (800) 245-2774 and scheduling an appointment for a  free case evaluation so that we can advise you on the best course of legal action for your situation.

 

 

 

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