After you are involved in an auto accident, you might find your auto accident case turns into a case of your word against the other driver's. When this is the case, you'll often need to rely on witnesses who saw the accident to prove your version of the events. What you say to the witnesses and the questions you ask can affect your case.
Ask the Witness What They Saw
Ask your witness to write down everything they saw. If someone did not see your accident, even if they were nearby, they are not a witness. Also, your auto accident attorney will be able to determine whether the witness is helpful. Ask an open-ended question such as "what did you see before and during the accident?" This will allow the witness to provide you with as many details as possible.
Ask the witness if the other driver was speeding or disobeying traffic laws. Ask the witness if they would like to serve as a witness. If the individual refuses, there is no point in obtaining contact information.
Ask for Contact Information
You will need contact information for your attorney to be able to interview the witnesses in the future. Otherwise, your attorney may need to work harder to obtain this information. Contact information is also necessary so the insurance provider of the other driver can confirm the witness's version of the events.
Find Out Where the Witness Was Located Before the Accident
Where the witness was will affect whether the witness will be able to recount everything that happened. You may need multiple witnesses from multiple angles to be able to piece together everything that occurred. For example, one witness might have seen that the other driver was speeding and another witness might have observed that you attempted to avoid the crash.
Find out about what the weather was at the time of the accident and whether the witness had a clear view of the scene of the accident. Have the witness describe the weather at the time of the accident.
Look for as Many Witnesses as Possible
You will also want multiple witnesses because having more than one party recount what occurred will further bolster the credibility of your claim. Ideally, your witnesses will be individuals with who you do not have a prior relationship with. Once you have spoken to all the witnesses at the scene of the accident, your car accident attorney can assist you in building a solid case.
If you do not have an auto accident attorney, reach out to a local firm to get more information.
After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.