Can a Car Accident Witness Improve Your Case?

car accident witnessGood personal injury cases are built on solid foundations of evidence. The accident could be the other party’s fault and justice could require that you receive compensation, but if you cannot prove the claim, you will lose. That means you will not get a settlement. Car accident witness statements and witness testimony can be a vital part of proving your case.

Car Accident Witness Statements Can Prove Who Was Actually at Fault

In the chaos of an automobile accident, it can be hard to know exactly what happened. Did the red car pull out of the parking lot first? Should the driver of the white minivan have paid more attention? A car accident witness, other than the drivers and passengers, can offer an outside perspective and help determine what actually happened.

Witnesses Can Verify Injuries

In addition to fault, you will have to prove that you were injured in the accident in order to win your personal injury claim. Doctors and other medical professionals can help you establish the extent of your injuries.

If your case goes to trial, you will have to have the witnesses testify in court, but before litigation your attorney will attempt to settle your claim with documents. Your medical professionals should include their assessments of your injuries in your medical records. If your medical records do not include the statements you need, you can always ask your doctor to write a letter describing your injuries.

Witnesses Can Establish Proximate Cause

Proximate cause is lawyer-speak for “Did the accident cause your injuries or were they caused by something else?” The opposing party may argue that although they were at fault for the accident, the accident did not cause your injuries. Your leg was broken before the accident.  You may need a witness, an acquaintance, or a doctor, to testify or write that you could walk before the accident and that you could not stand on your broken leg afterward.

In exceptionally difficult or litigious cases, both parties may retain expert witnesses to testify about the injuries and their cause. The defendant’s expert may say that the accident could not have caused a fracture pattern like the one shown on the plaintiff’s x-rays. While the plaintiff’s expert will testy that the fracture pattern in the x-ray does match an injury sustained in an accident. It will be up to the jury to decide who to believe

Be Careful to Avoid Making a Statement That Could Be Used Against You

Remember that anything you do or say could be used against you in a court of law. I know you probably hear that particular warning on television all the time. In civil cases, like most accidents, there is no Miranda warning, but your words can still come back to haunt you.

If you say something at the scene of the accident, or to an insurance adjuster and then change or story or testify differently in court, the opposing party will attempt to make you a liar by using your previous statements to point out that you are not telling the same story.

In order to avoid that pitfall, do not speak to another person’s insurance adjuster without an attorney present.

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