No one wants to pay for an expensive car accident. Even in a no-fault state like Michigan, your insurance company may try to avoid paying your claim. How then can you strengthen your case for compensation if a negligent driver seriously hurts you? Witness testimony could be the answer.
At Christensen Law, we understand how powerful witness testimony can be. The right eyewitness can provide crucial information that may be the key to securing the compensation you deserve. A witness can also help counter the “he said, she said” arguments that often arise in car accident cases.
How do you find witnesses after a car crash? An Ann Arbor car accident attorney from Christensen Law can help you build a solid case backed by convincing witness information.
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Importance of Car Accident Witness Statements
A strong and well-rounded car accident claim will include information from multiple sources. Witness statements can be just as important as the police report and medical documentation. When both parties have an emotional and financial stake in the outcome of an accident claim, witness testimony can be the linchpin that determines how a case will be resolved.
Witnesses are individuals present at the time of a car accident. Third-party witnesses are people who saw or heard the collision. Witnesses may also be passengers who were directly involved in the crash.
Identifying Witnesses After a Crash
One way to help your car accident case is by identifying potential witnesses at the crash scene. Follow these tips if you can:
- Talk to people at the scene – Bystanders can offer crucial details about the collision. Get as many details as you can. Ask witnesses for their contact information. Your lawyer can reach out to them later.
- Ask for the police report – Obtain a copy of the official accident report. Police officers often include witness details and contact information in the body of their reports.
- Canvas the neighborhood – If the collision occurred in a residential area or busy section of town, ask around. Visit the accident scene at the same time of day the crash happened. You may run into people who frequent the neighborhood and remember seeing the crash or know someone who did. Check with employees of nearby businesses. See if the company has surveillance video from the date of the collision.
Information to Get from Witnesses
You’ve found witnesses. Now, what do you need to ask them? First, collect their contact information. This is vital in case you have follow-up questions or your attorney wants to speak with them. Ask for their:
- Full name
- Home, work, or cell phone number
- Mailing address
- Email address
Next, ask them to tell you about the crash in their own words. Consider these questions as a jumping-off point:
- What did you see or hear?
- Where were you at the time of the crash?
- What were you doing before the crash?
- What did you do afterward
- Do they have any dash-cam footage, photos, or videos of the collision?
Take notes during your conversation and share them with your attorney during your first consultation.
Having the Right Witness Can Make or Break Your Car Accident Claim
There are no right or wrong witnesses, but some witness statements carry more weight than others. Passengers involved in an accident can be valid witnesses. However, most passengers are either friendly with or related to the driver of the vehicle they are traveling in. While the testimony of a passenger may be helpful, there can be credibility issues. An insurer may view these witness statements as biased and partially or wholly unreliable.
Neutral third-party witnesses are more valuable because they have nothing to gain or lose from the case’s outcome. Keep in mind that witnesses with certain character flaws or physical limitations can impact your claim. Factors that may affect a witness’s credibility include:
- Poor eyesight
- Memory problems
- Witnesses who were intoxicated at the time of the crash
- Convicted felons
- Those with a record of dishonest behavior
Don’t stress if your injuries prevented you from speaking with witnesses immediately after a crash. A personal injury lawyer can launch a thorough investigation and identify potential witnesses for you.
Best Types of Witnesses for Your Case
The best types of witnesses for your case are usually people who do not know you and have nothing to gain from its success or failure, such as:
- People in homes or businesses adjacent to the accident scene
- Emergency responders
- Other motorists
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Ann Arbor, MI
Locating potential witnesses after an Ann Arbor car accident can be daunting, especially if you are seriously injured. Leave the task to the car accident attorneys at Christensen Law. Our lawyers will work diligently to find witnesses to support your car accident claim.
Christensen Law is a respected personal injury law firm with a track record of recovering multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.