If someone witnessed your car accident, their testimony may help you win your personal injury case. Car accident witnesses are a great tool that can be used to prove what really happened. Knowing what to do after a car accident, like finding witnesses, can be a great way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Most car accidents have witnesses, the trouble is getting them to make a statement with the police and follow up with your West Palm Beach car accident lawyer. Also, how are you supposed to ask someone about the car accident? It may seem odd to ask a stranger to be a witness on your behalf. But we recommend finding as many witnesses that saw the car accident and can prove your side of the story.
How Do I Find Witnesses After a Car Accident?
So where are you supposed to find car accident witnesses? If you have had an accident in a busy intersection or near a busy plaza, you will have an easier time finding a witness and convincing one of the witnesses to give their statement to the police. Also, remember that your passenger or the other driver’s passenger is a witness as well!
– Speak with people at the scene
If you can speak to anyone around the scene, then try to speak with these possible witnesses as soon as possible. An eye witness account can be as valuable as taking pictures and collecting the other driver’s information.
– Return to the scene later
If you were unable to question any witnesses at the scene after your car accident, then you could return to the scene later. Look for businesses in the area directly surrounding the scene of the accident. Gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, and any other businesses, may have employees or business owners who saw the accident take place and can be valuable witnesses.
– Check the police report
Not only can you find the information of potential car accident witnesses that were interviewed by police after your collision, but you may be able to follow up with these bystanders directly. You can also ask to change the police report after an accident if you have some factual issues with statements.
Remember that almost anyone can be a witness. It can be people at the scene, it can be passengers in cars, it can be people who were with drivers who gave witness statements to the police. Knowing what to do after a hit-and-run accident and how to ask witnesses, is just as important.
How Do You Ask Someone to Be A Witness After A Car Accident?
If you are having trouble asking a bystander to a be witness and go on record, don’t be! Most people are more than happy to lend a hand and offer their account of car accident. Bystanders are often chomping at the bit to be a part of the proceedings.
You must speak with car accident witnesses because your lawsuit victory will depend on proving the other driver was at fault.
If a potential witness tells you they do not have time to give a statement, they can give a statement later. But proceed with caution! Witness statements are more accurate when they are given and taken right after the accident. Most car accident victims will give less reliable testimony as more time passes.
5 Question You Must Ask A Car Accident Witness
After a car accident, the police officer on the scene will quest witnesses. But police officers may not get to talk to everyone at the scene, and some witnesses leave before the police arrive. So you can help the investigation by speaking to witnesses as soon as possible and asking everyone who saw the car accident these questions.
- What did you see? Go into detail, please.
The first question is simple but necessary. Ask the witness what they saw and ask them to go into detail. Ask them to start at the beginning and let them talk as much as they want. Only once they have finished speaking, ask them questions. But you must let them tell their story.
- Was the other driving breaking the law in any way? Speeding, texting, or swerving?
If they don’t mention how the other driver was operating the vehicle, make sure to follow up with these questions:
- Was the other driver speeding? Was the other driver operating the vehicle safely?
- Could you see if the driver was texting?
- Was the other car swerving?
- Was the other person driving aggressively?
If you can prove, using car accident witnesses statements, that the other driver was not following the rules of the road, or even breaking the law, then your case is much stronger. If you hire a personal injury attorney, they will likely find witnesses and ask them these questions as well.
- Did you hear anything the other driver said after the accident?
Sometimes, the small details can increase your chances of winning the car accident lawsuit. Ask the witnesses you speak with if they heard the other driver or passenger say anything directly related to the accident. Sometimes drivers will admit fault or say something that can be indirectly used to prove that they were at fault for the accident.
- Can you make a statement to the police?
Ask the witness to make a statement to the police. A car accident witness statement is so much more valuable if the police officer takes the statement. Police officers who what questions to ask and any statements taken by the police are considered high value. Ask the witness to make a statement with the police and ask if they can wait until the police arrive. Appeal to them.
- Can I have your contact info?
If a witness can stay to make a statement with the police or if they cannot stay, either way, make sure you collect all the contact info of every witness. There may be follow up questions you want to ask, or your lawyer may ask for that information so they can speak to the witness directly.
How Steinger, Greene & Feiner Can Help
We have helped more than 30,000 clients over 23 years and collected more than $1 Billion in personal injury settlements. Our attorneys know what questions to ask, how to find more witnesses, and who to speak to about getting your statement updated.