Why You Should Gather Eyewitness Information at The Scene of An Auto Accident If Possible
If you get injured in an automobile accident, you may be able to file a claim against the negligent driver for the damages you suffered. In Mississippi, the burden to prove liability falls on the plaintiff. While everything ultimately depends on the individual circumstances of an accident, eyewitness testimony usually proves to be a compelling piece of evidence.
It can be difficult to get a witness to testify on your behalf. An experienced auto accident attorney in Mississippi will have the skills and resources required to identify and engage with potential eyewitnesses and obtain their testimony to strengthen your personal injury claim.
Who is a Potential Eyewitness to a Car Accident?
Anyone witnessing an accident can be an eyewitness in an injury claim. The problem lies in selecting the right witness that can strengthen your claim instead of giving ammunition to the insurance company to reduce your settlement amount. Third parties that saw the events leading up to the accident and the accident itself prove to be the most credible witnesses in accident claims. This includes:
- Drivers on the road.
- People in nearby homes or stores.
- Passengers in other vehicles.
- Pedestrians around the accident scene.
- Good Samaritans that stopped to help.
People that saw the events leading up to the accident can provide invaluable testimony. They may have seen the other driver get distracted by something in the back seat or talking on the phone.
Reasons to Obtain Eyewitness Contact Information at the Scene of the Crash Site
1. Information is fresh in the witnesses’ mind
The most important reason to get the information of eyewitnesses while at the accident scene is to ensure that they are willing to testify while the accident is still fresh in their minds. The witness would have seen the accident and will narrate it as it happened without any bias. Your attorney will contact the witness to get their account of the events. Your attorney will also encourage them to testify on your behalf if push comes to shove and your claim goes to trial.
2. Add credibility to the claim
Third-party witness testimony is generally believed to be unbiased. It can add credibility to the claim. The witness’s account of events may corroborate your side of the story. Witnesses to car accidents are not impacted by the actual event. Neither are they promised financial compensation in any manner for their testimony.
3. Clearer picture of the accident
Witnesses can provide a clearer picture of the manner in which the accident occurred. They can provide a unique look at the circumstances that caused the crash and the immediate aftermath of it. This includes the statements and actions made by the driver involved.
4. Establish fault
Eyewitness testimony can prove to be strong evidence in establishing fault for the accident. They can recount the version of events by including the things they saw, such as the driver running a red light, driving at high speeds, texting, changing lanes without signaling, and swerving, among other things.
5. Provide input on injuries
Witnesses can also provide firsthand information that adds credibility to the case by correcting any misinformation on part of the at-fault driver. They can describe environmental factors clearly and prevent the negligent driver from placing blame on the victim.
In addition, witness statements can include information pertaining to the injuries. This can be useful if you sustained severe injuries and the insurance company is trying to deny the claim by saying your injuries occurred at some point after the accident.
Encourage Settlement Through Eyewitness Statements
The case may go to trial if the involved parties are unable to arrive at an agreement or settlement. Witness statements are usually gathered at the beginning before a lawsuit is filed.
Your attorney may provide eyewitness statements to the insurance company’s attorneys during the discovery phase. These statements could clearly implicate the other driver and persuade the insurance company in offering a settlement.
Most insurance companies prefer settling out of court when fault can be proven beyond a doubt. This is because the jury may provide victims with a significantly higher compensation amount, so going to trial is always a risk.
Insurance companies can more easily dispute your version of events without an eyewitness to verify that you were in the right and that the at-fault driver was negligent or reckless in their actions. Credible eyewitness statements can clearly establish proof and compel an insurance company to settle for a fair amount of compensation.
Legal Help is Here from Reputable Car Accident Attorneys in Mississippi
If you want to file a claim against a negligent motorist or a third party following a car accident, the resourceful personal injury attorneys at the Gardner Law Firm can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove fault, including witness accounts.
Our car accident attorneys have represented numerous clients across the state for decades with unwavering commitment and dedication. We strive to help innocent victims get the full and fair compensation they deserve.
To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 228-436-6555 or complete this online form.