If you’ve been involved in a car accident, witness statements can be vital to successfully recovering compensation for your injuries. A detailed, credible statement can help you settle your case or prevail at trial. They can also help confirm facts and prove details, as well as establish who was at fault in the accident. In order to make the most of your witnesses, it’s important to get them to provide a thorough and detailed statement. In this post, we’ll go over some suggestions to help you assemble a strong set of witness statements.
Get Their Contact Information
It’s really important that you get all of your witnesses’ personal contact information. You may need to contact them for follow-up questions or clarifications as your case proceeds. More importantly, you may need the witnesses to testify in the event that you have to file a lawsuit. As a result, be sure to carefully write down the following:
- Full name
- Home phone, work phone, and cell phone numbers
- Home address
- Email address
- Where they work
Basically, you want multiple ways to be able to get in touch with them. People move, change jobs, and change phone numbers, but they rarely change all of their contact information at the same time.
Get the Statement in Their Own Words
In the event that you have to pursue legal action, opposing counsel will scrutinize your witness’s statement and use any inaccuracies or inconsistencies to discredit their testimony. As a result, it’s best if you get your witness to give you a recorded statement in their own words. Unfortunately, your witness may not be willing to devote much time to this, and so might not want to carefully write down what they saw happen. They may want to just give you a verbal statement and let you jot down some notes. However, this is not a good solution – you could easily make a mistake and wind up putting words into your witness’s mouth.
If your witness seems reluctant to provide a written statement, ask if they would be willing to record a verbal statement. There are a number of apps available for smartphones that can easily record a voice memo and make it shareable. Just make sure that the file is backed up to the cloud or another computer.
Get as Much Detail as Possible
Witness statements can be incredibly helpful in corroborating facts or clarifying what happened in the accident. In addition, a highly detailed statement tends to be more credible – it establishes the witness as an authoritative observer as opposed to some who was present but not really paying attention. Here are some of the details you should ask your witness to focus their statement on:
- The date, time, and exact location that the accident occurred
- The weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- The make, model, and color of the other driver’s vehicle
- Details regarding traffic volume and patterns
- Details concerning the other driver’s behavior – did they appear to be distracted? Were they speeding?
Of course, you want them to be as detailed as possible about what happened at the moment the accident occured – who had the right of way, who entered the intersection against the light, and that sort of thing.
Slappey & Sadd – Representing Car Accident Victims in the Atlanta Area
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you don’t need to pursue your claim alone. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have the experience to help you get the compensation you deserve. We can help you assemble the necessary evidence, including the information provided by your witnesses. If you would like a free consultation, call us at 888-474-9616 or contact us online to see how we can help.