If you’ve been involved a car accident, one thing you want to do if possible is gather the names and contact information of any parties who have witnessed the wreck. While responding officers may get some witnesses, often they just don’t have the ability to get all important accident witnesses. Such testimony can play a vital role in helping to process insurance claims or help you prevail in a civil lawsuit you need to pursue as the result of the accident.
Depending upon the circumstances surrounding the accident, witnesses qualified to give testimony might be drivers or passengers of other cars involved in the accident, people who stopped to offer assistance after the accident, pedestrians, workers at nearby businesses, and road or utility workers. Witness statements can be used to:
- Support or discredit allegations of responsibility. (i.e/ whose light was red)
- Support or discredit claims of injury.
- Help in criminal proceedings.
However, not all witnesses are created equally. Witnesses may be considered less credible if:
- They have a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the case.
- They struggle to accurately recall key details of the case.
- They were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred.
- They are hostile and uncooperative when answering questions.
- They are providing testimony that seems implausible or directly conflicts other evidence.
- They are avoiding eye contact or have body language that suggests they are lying.
- They have a prior criminal record.
In the absence of credible witness testimony, video surveillance tapes can at times be helpful. Many businesses, especially those with a national presence, have outdoor video cameras that capture footage from their parking area and the surrounding streets. ATM machines also have cameras to record their surrounding areas. You may need a subpoena to obtain the footage, but this is certainly worth discussing with your attorney.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 to speak with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Holzer Edwards.