Witness Statement for a Car Accident

February 14, 2023

One of the most important things individuals can do after a vehicle accident is to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses who saw the incident. This can include bystanders near the scene of the incident as well as drivers and passengers in other vehicles. Witness statements can be valuable tools when it comes to recovering compensation from insurance carriers or through a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver. Here, our Martinsburg car accident lawyers want to discuss witness statements and steps you can take to help your claim.

What is a Car Accident Witness Statement?

One of the most important things that individuals can do right after an accident occurs is obtain the name and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the incident. As we mentioned, this can include those in other vehicles as well as bystanders. However, what does a witness statement actually do, and how do you get the statement?

Should you ask a bunch of questions to every witness at the scene of the accident? For all intents and purposes, this may not be a practical idea. The scene of a car accident is usually a chaotic environment, and the ultimate goal is to seek medical care for those who sustain injuries and get the scene cleared. There may not be time to fully interview individuals there to get a comprehensive witness statement.

However, if you have the contact information of those who saw what happened, it is certainly possible to get through witness statements in the days and weeks that follow the incident. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer in Martinsburg who can help if you have been involved in an accident. An attorney can take the contact information you obtained and begin speaking to any eyewitnesses.

We do want to point out that it is best if witness statements are taken as soon as possible. Human memory can be flawed, and over time, what individuals think they saw may not actually be what they saw. It is not uncommon to get conflicting witness statements even at the scene of an incident, but memories may certainly change after people have left the scene and had time to process.

Statements from eyewitnesses will be more credible if the witness does not have any self-interest involved in the incident. For example, a complete stranger who saw the accident from a parking lot near the street would have more credibility than a passenger of the plaintiff in the car accident case.

Powerful eyewitness statements can help move the case toward a fair settlement. If there are multiple eyewitnesses who recount roughly the same story, this may push an at-fault party to settle the claim fairly as opposed to forcing the case to go to a personal injury trial.

Will an Attorney Help in These Situations?

Having an attorney by your side soon after an accident occurs is the best way to ensure consistency and forward motion of your case. An attorney will investigate the incident in order to obtain any evidence needed to prove liability for the claim. Eyewitness statements are just one part of the overall evidence needed to prove what happened. An attorney will work to gather other evidence, such as photos and video surveillance, vehicle black box data, mobile device data, wish reports, and more.

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