In 2020, 38 million people sought emergency room medical treatment for injuries, equal to 103,825 people per day. Everything from car accidents to sports injuries to slip-and-fall accidents could result in a personal injury claim.
Interviewing witnesses is one of the most important things you can do after suffering an injury. Witness testimony is crucial to any injury lawsuit and offers many benefits to those filing an injury claim.
How can a witness help my car accident claim?
In 2020, 1,593,290 car accidents injured more than 2.282 million people in the United States. All of these accidents, as well as accidents involving only property damage, can lead to an injury lawsuit.
When you file an injury claim, you may negotiate a settlement or seek a judgment from a personal injury trial. Witnesses can provide crucial testimony to help you receive damages after an accident.
The police and insurance companies investigate accidents. In some cases, the police may charge the at-fault driver. Suppose the driver was intoxicated or using their cell phone. Witness testimony corroborating the driver’s behavior could be used to support charges, and these charges may make it easier for accident victims to secure damages from the at-fault driver.
The at-fault driver may try to avoid responsibility by providing an inaccurate or incomplete statement to authorities. Witness testimony can help investigators determine what happened and identify the at-fault driver.
Expert vs. normal witnesses
Both expert and normal witnesses can be crucial resources when preparing an injury claim.
Expert witnesses are individuals with special knowledge. Automotive experts can review evidence from the accident and testify about vehicle speeds and other relevant factors. Depending on the case and factors involved, mental health and medical experts may also provide critical information.
Normal witnesses are regular people who witness an event or incidents leading up to an event. Normal witnesses can include other drivers nearby during a car accident and residents or pedestrians who witnessed the accident. The value of their testimony doesn’t lie in the knowledge they’ve acquired through study or experience; instead, these witnesses provide crucial details about what happened just before the accident.
Sometimes, witnesses could fall into both categories. Suppose a drunk driver was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. That driver left a bar shortly before the accident occurred. The bartender may be able to provide eyewitness information about how much alcohol the driver consumed and their conduct. They can also provide expert information about how much alcohol raises a person’s blood alcohol content above the legal limit and whether the driver’s behavior supports the conclusion that they were intoxicated.
Why is interviewing witnesses after an accident important?
Some of the reasons it’s crucial you interview witnesses after an accident include the following:
- The witness’s memory is fresh: People have a better recall of events right after they happen, so interviewing witnesses after an accident ensures the most accurate account of what occurred
- Witness testimony is valuable: Witness testimony supports your claims and strengthens your claim
- Witness testimony can help resolve cases quickly: Including witness statements with a demand package can help you secure a settlement without going to trial
- Witness testimony affects settlement amounts: Insurance companies are more likely to settle instead of fighting a case in court if the claimant has compelling witness testimony supporting their case. The insurance companies will offer a higher payout during settlement negotiations to resolve a case with compelling evidence.
How a personal injury attorney can help with interviewing witnesses
Bachus & Schanker has a team of Victim Advocates who help investigate every case. These advocates include formal legal and law enforcement professionals who understand the value of witness testimony. Like our personal injury attorneys, our advocates have experience working with witnesses.
Our advocates can use their investigative skills to locate witnesses who may not have answered questions at the scene. Locating additional witnesses can provide crucial information to support your claim.
Attorneys and investigators understand reasons witnesses may be reluctant to get involved. They know how to alleviate witness concerns and provide the reassurance they need to provide a statement.
Attorneys and investigators know how to put witnesses at ease. They can draw on their years of experience when interviewing witnesses, ensuring they get all relevant information during interviews and depositions.
Can I afford a personal injury attorney?
Dealing with injuries from an accident is stressful. In addition to coping with your physical condition, you could face unexpected medical bills and other expenses. Hiring an attorney may seem impossible because of your financial concerns.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about finances when you hire a personal injury attorney. At Bachus & Schanker, we use contingency fees to ensure our clients get the legal help they need without worrying about money. When we win your case, you’ll pay us a percentage of your settlement. Until then, you won’t receive a bill for our services.
Let Bachus & Schanker help with your personal injury claim
Our legal team will locate, subpoena, and interview witnesses while preparing your case. We’ll use our investigative skills to gather relevant evidence and prepare a compelling demand package to motivate insurance companies to settle your claim.
Bieber C. (2023). Car Accident Statistics for 2023.
Emergency Department Visits. (2023).