Did You See That? How Eyewitnesses Can Influence Accident Cases

Posted on: 17 February 2022

Even though cam footage is everywhere, what was seen by a person has a huge impact on every type of legal case. If you are trying to show that the other driver— and not you — caused an accident, eyewitnesses could be key to your case. Read on and learn more.

Who Makes a Great Eyewitness? 

Eyewitnesses are not all created equal. The people in your vehicle should be able to provide valuable information about the accident but they may not be as unbiased as you would wish. That is why collecting the names and statements of those riding in other vehicles, walking along the street, or in a nearby business is far more important than the opinion of someone riding in your vehicle at the time of the accident.

Catch Them While You Can

From the moment of the crash, identifying and interviewing people who saw what happened is the goal of law enforcement to respond to the accident scene. It's important to interview witnesses before they forget what they saw since time can seriously affect the quality of their memories. Law enforcement will interview and record what they learn in the accident report along with the witnesses' contact information. Later, when you speak with your personal injury lawyer, those contacts will be passed on so that they can, in some cases, be asked to provide written statements about the accident. You can usually locate the accident report, if not provided with one at the scene, by contacting the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene.

Using an Eyewitness to Prove Fault

It's true that several people can see the same accident, and all give different versions of the event. That is why law enforcement doesn't stop at interviewing one or two witnesses, but they try to get input from as many as possible. If the other driver is alleging that you caused the accident and you are sure you did not, witnesses are a vital piece of the puzzle. You want a witness that can attest to the other driver violating a rule of the road and causing the accident. They might have drifted into your lane, they might have turned in front of you, or they might have entered a highway in front of you when you had the right of way.

In addition to eyewitnesses, other evidence is used to establish fault in an accident. The positioning and location of the damage on the vehicles provide several clues as do skid marks on the road and more. To find out how an eyewitness can help you with your accident case, speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.

To learn more, contact a company like Bradley Drendel & Jeanney.