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The Role of a Car Accident Witness

In the most simple of car accident scenarios, two drivers may only face very minimal injuries (if any at all), exchange insurance information and then continue moving on with their day. But, in the more complicated car accidents, one driver may have caused a very serious injury in the other. Emergency care may be required, and the victim driver could then be forced into a situation where they must deal with financial and physical damages. If the victim driver decides to file a civil lawsuit against the other for compensation, it may make a significant difference during the case to have a witness statement.

Should I get witness information even if there were other people in my car?

You should still gather witness information if there is anyone nearby who saw the accident happen. Passengers who were with you at the time of the accident can be helpful to your lawsuit. However, getting a statement from someone who does not have a relationship with already, can leave a more lasting impact that weighs even more-so in your favor.  

What details about the car accident are absolutely necessary in a witness statement?

Key facts when it comes to a witness testimony include where the witness was at the time of the accident, how long the witness had been at the scene, which direction they were coming from when they saw the crash and at which point they saw the collision happen (right before, during or after impact). If your witness had a clear view of the accident from beginning to end, this is something you will surely want added to the statement.

What specific questions should I ask a witness to include in their statement?

When asking a witness for a statement, there are certain things you will want to have them answer. Sometimes, witnesses get nervous about the potential influence of their statement and just do not know what to say, so they may end up not provide all the information you need. Try to stick to facts, not opinions or speculations. When talking with your witness, focus on getting the following details:

  • Which time the accident happened
  • Which direction each vehicle was coming from
  • How the collision happened
  • If the offending driver looked to be speeding or distracted
  • If the weather seemed to be a factor (rainy weather, bright sun glare)
  • Details surrounding the crash
  • Drawing a simple diagram of the collision (if possible)

Do victim drivers always file a civil lawsuit for their injuries?

Not all car drivers who get into an accident due to the fault of another person file a lawsuit. Those who suffer from very serious and long-term injuries, or endure financial distress because of the accident often turn to an attorney for more advice. Those who do decide to file a civil lawsuit can start gathering receipts of their medical costs and all other paperwork related to their injuries. Many law firm companies actually offer free consults for new clients. This can be a great way to get advice from an auto accident lawyer Memphis, TN, recommends before committing to the process of a civil lawsuit.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Patterson Bray, for their insight into car accidents.

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