Witnesses can be invaluable after a car crash. From corroborating your claim that the other driver is to blame to providing additional supporting evidence, your car accident attorney can use witness information to strengthen a compensation claim.
If you were involved in a car accident, follow these tips to gather witness information.
Identifying potential witnesses
Testimony from witnesses who saw the collision from different angles can help strengthen your case. If you’re unable to identify witnesses at the scene due to your injuries, you may gather this information from the police report.
Your passengers can also provide testimony about your conduct. They can report whether you were going the speed limit, stopped at red lights, or turned when you had the right of way.
The other driver’s passengers may have seen them texting and driving or know firsthand that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your San Luis Obispo car accident attorney can subpoena these passengers and compel them to testify to any errors or recklessness of the other driver.
If your accident occurred at a busy intersection, plenty of bystanders might have witnessed it. Some may have remained on the scene to lend assistance or give a statement to the responding police officer, but others can slip under the radar.
Owners and patrons of local businesses
Finally, “rubbernecking” business owners and employees may have stepped outside when the crash happened. Check nearby businesses and ask people working on that date if they saw the collision.
Information to obtain from witnesses
If you identify witnesses on the scene or get in contact with them later, there are several key things to ask:
- Full name
- Contact information like a phone number and email address
- Description of what they heard and saw
- Their location when the crash occurred and whether they were a driver, pedestrian, etc.
In today’s culture, it’s much more likely that someone took pictures or has a video of the crash. In some cases, you might find videos of the collision online and identify a witness that way. Or, your lawyer can subpoena any pictures or video from bystanders as evidence.
Using witness information
Your attorney uses witness information to demonstrate how the crash happened and to corroborate your account of the events leading up to the crash. Eyewitness testimony holds a lot of weight, so the more witnesses you can identify, the stronger your case.
Your lawyer may also use witness testimony to poke holes in the defense’s case. If their lawyer claims they were driving responsibly, but two witnesses saw them run a stop sign, your version of events appears more reliable.
Do you need legal help after a San Luis Obispo car crash?
It’s not always possible to approach or even identify a car accident witness immediately after a crash, but all is not lost. Your attorney can immediately begin taking the proper avenues to secure witness statements.