The Importance of Witnesses to Your Personal Injury Claim

October 17, 2018

Many Personal Injury claims end up with conflicting stories. It’s not uncommon for someone to admit that they were at fault immediately after the accident, but as time goes by, completely change their tune. Other times, both sides maintain their innocence and claim the other party was always at fault. So, how do you -- or a jury -- know who to believe?

Enter the witness. Sometimes, but not always, an accident will be witnessed by another person in the vicinity. Take for instance a car accident. If a crash occurs during the middle of the day on a busy road, a number of people that weren’t directly involved in the crash will likely have noticed what transpired: a passerby, other drivers, and even the non-driving occupants of the vehicles. They are all witnesses to the accident and their third-party account could help support your claim the other party is to blame. This is just one of many reasons why having independent witnesses becomes such an important factor in your case.

Determining if There Are Any Witnesses and Getting a Statement

Seek medical treatment if you are injured and in pain before doing anything else. Don’t pretend to be Rambo: treat your injuries immediately. There are a number of important first steps to take after a car accident and a slip and fall injury. You’ll want to follow these guidelines to get your Personal Injury claim started on the right track.

Now you’re ready to find a witness. Look around to see who is in the vicinity. If you believe anyone may have seen what transpired, you want to involve them in your claim immediately. Engage any witnesses as quickly as possible and try to make them feel like they are a part of what happened. Of course, use your best judgment and be safe when determining who to ultimately speak to.

  • Approach the prospective witnesses
  • Politely introduce yourself
  • Ask if they saw what happened
  • Does their perception of the accident support your account?
  • Ask if they are willing to be a witness
  • If they agree, ask for their name, phone number, address and email
  • Ask if they will stay until the police arrive

This isn’t an easy task by any means. In fact, it is very common for witnesses to be present, but then disappear or refuse to be any help. They would rather not get involved or simply don’t want the hassle. It’s a frustrating reality, but if more than one person witnessed your accident, attempt speaking to them, too.

Later on, your attorney will use the contact information you gathered to get in touch the witness. They will also want to get the witness to fill out a Witness Statement that you will then be able to send to the insurance adjustors in the Demand Package.

Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

If you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of being hurt by someone else’s actions, contact The Ticktin Law Group. We handle Personal Injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay us anything unless we collect money for you. To see if you have a case, schedule a free consultation. Our experienced Personal Injury attorneys will go over the facts of your claim to help you get a much better idea of the steps to take. For a free consultation, call (561) 232-2222 or complete the contact form here.