Should I Try to Find Witnesses for My Car Accident Lawsuit?

Witness For Car Accident LawsuitWhen a witness is available to provide a statement about your car accident, you may have a better chance of recovering compensation. You should look around at the scene of your accident – if you can – to see if there is anyone who may have witnessed what happened and would be willing to give their testimony in court.

However, asking folks at the scene about their observations is very different from tracking down potential witnesses after-the-fact, and we would not recommend that you do the latter — you never know how people will react. Better to let us handle that for you. If you have a list of names or have a copy of the police report, we routinely contact potential witnesses for a number of reasons.

Why are witnesses important in an accident?

Witnesses can prove to be critical if you are involved in a car accident in Tulsa. For example, they may be able to call the police for you and tell the responding officers what they observed, including key details about what exactly occurred in the moments before, during and after the collision. Here are a few other reasons witnesses are important:

  • They can show that you are telling the truth: While you may know that you told the truth to authorities, a witness can help corroborate your facts and details about the events. This is important because insurance companies and the jury will be looking for any inconsistencies or details that have been left out, which could impact the believability of your story.
  • They can help prove fault: Since many witnesses see the crash from a different viewpoint, their accounts may reveal new information about how the accident occurred and who caused it. Witnesses will often be independent and unbiased, so their opinions lack any motivation to help one party or the other, giving them enhanced credibility.
  • They can explain and describe the type of injuries you suffered: If you speak to a witness or they assist you after your accident, they will likely notice your injuries. They may be able to explain to the insurance company or judge what type of injuries you suffered as well as their severity.

How does witness credibility affect a car accident claim?

Witness credibility is essential when it comes to the success of your car accident claim. This means that your witness must remain truthful throughout their entire testimony. If they tell an insurance adjuster or judge false information regarding your accident, your claim could be jeopardized. Your witness may have a lot of useful information to share, but it will be questioned if he or she is proven to be untrustworthy. Witnesses should stick to what they know and recall and refrain from guessing or speculating on aspects of a case that they truly have no personal knowledge of.

Do you have to stick around if you witness an accident?

While there are laws requiring parties involved in a collision to remain at the scene, there is no legal requirement to remain at the scene if you simply witness a incident such as a car collision. While it might be nice to help those involved or even to offer to be a witness if they decide to pursue a lawsuit, you have no obligation to do so. This is a personal decision that only you can make.

If you do want to help, you should make sure that you do not put yourself in danger by doing so. For example, you will need to park in a safe place and refrain from walking out in the middle of traffic to get to the accident victims. Offer to provide your contact information and let them know you are willing to be a witness. You should also be prepared to dial 9-1-1 if they are unconscious, do not have a cell phone, or are physically unable to do so themselves.

Can a friend be a witness?

Your friend or even a family member can be a witness. Many people think that their friend or family member may not be allowed to be a witness to their car accident because of your close relationship and potentially biased opinions. However, utilizing any potential witness, even if they are a friend of family member, is allowed and encouraged.

Who cannot be called as a witness?

Anyone can generally be called as a witness except those who are considered incompetent. There are various reasons for why a person may be considered incompetent, including “insufficient memory, intelligence, or ability to express oneself, or inability to appreciate the need to tell the truth.”

At Biby Law Firm, we handle all types of car accidents in Tulsa. If you have been involved in a car accident and need legal assistance, our car accident attorneys are here to help. We will listen to your story, help you find witnesses, and build a strong and convincing case against the responsible parties. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether a witness statement will add value to your case, which is why our team can step in and help you determine which witnesses will benefit you the most. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.