When you’re in an accident and you need to pursue a claim that’s challenged by the other party, you’ll need to backup your claim. Witnesses can be an outstanding way to accomplish this, as they can support your word about the sequence of events. However, the other driver may have their own witnesses, or may have reason to question the veracity of your witness reports.
How can you make sure that the witnesses on your side of the argument are solid and difficult to challenge? Learn how to ensure witness credibility in a car accident, and why you need a solid auto accident attorney in your corner to help your case.
Why Witnesses Matter
In many car accidents, it comes down to a “he said/she said” situation, where it’s one driver’s word against the other’s. Often, when combined with forensic evidence, this can be enough, but it can still leave gray areas and unsolved issues. Having a third party who was not involved, but witnessed the events and can give their testimony can be a big help in finding the truth in the middle of the two potentially extreme accounts.
The problem arises in that all witnesses aren’t necessarily credible. There are a ton of reasons why credibility issues crop up, especially considering how quickly car accidents happen and considering that most people aren’t standing around waiting for one so they can memorize what happened.
Credibility issues can crop up from a number of factors, including:
- Attentiveness: was the witness doing something like driving a car or talking on the phone, so they didn’t really see the whole thing from start to finish? Were they more focused on getting themselves out of the way than noting what happened?
- Character issues: Does the witness have a criminal record? Are they known for being dishonest? Do they have any sort of stake in the claim (a friend of a driver, for example)?
- Physical Condition: Does the witness have sensory issues (hard of hearing, visually impaired)? Were they intoxicated? Can they be demonstrated to have memory issues or to be easy to confuse?
Another issue that almost always arises is one of perspective. Two people can witness exactly the same series of events and describe them in two entirely different ways. Memory is notoriously unreliable. If there are several witnesses, the differing accounts can create serious issues with credibility.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Having the right experienced car accident attorney in your corner can make all the difference in the world. Your attorney knows how to talk to witnesses, how to explore their backgrounds, and how to determine if there are any credibility problems in place. An attorney can help to ensure that your witness credibility in a car accident is the best possible, and can help to strategize overcoming any credibility issues that might crop up.
If you have been in an auto accident and need help pursuing compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, the attorneys at Eglet Prince have decades of experience in helping people just like you. Give us a call today for a free case evaluation and let’s get started!