Car accidents can be very devastating, with many victims suffering serious injuries or death. Those that survive and sustain serious injuries usually look for a way to hold their perpetrators accountable. Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party is the most effective way to get legal redress. To start the legal process of filing a lawsuit, visit Myrtle Beach based car accident lawyer. Such a lawyer will know how to proceed.
Winning such a car accident case takes a lot more than filing a claim; you’ll need to prove that the defendant is indeed responsible for the events or circumstances that led to your car accident injuries. A crucial part of proving this involves eyewitness testimony. This is a narration of events that took place at the time of the accident, as seen by other people present at the accident scene.
Eyewitness statements can be very powerful in proving liability in a car accident case. Usually, they help to add weight to facts already established about the car accident. In some cases, eyewitness testimony is the overriding factor in deciding the outcome of a car accident case.
Who Can Provide an Eyewitness Account?
When building your car accident case, your lawyer will want to interview those that were present around the crash site when the accident occurred. Objectivity is usually a crucial part of any testimony, including that of eyewitnesses. Therefore, eyewitness accounts of a car crash should be considered unbiased as far as all the parties involved can tell. Typically, eyewitness statements can be obtained from:
i) Pedestrians or bystanders present during the time of the accident. They should not have been involved in the accident in any way.
ii) Other motorists around the crash site when it occurred
iii) Those in nearby buildings who had a direct line of sight of the car accident scene.
While eyewitness statements are crucial, they are just part of the bigger picture in trying to prove a car accident case. Expert witnesses are also important. They can help corroborate or disprove an eyewitness statement. Expert witnesses may include those in different medical professions, crime scene investigators, or forensic technicians.
Importance of Eyewitness Testimony
Eyewitnesses can be crucial in a car accident case. In many instances, they can provide critical information that may have been missed by car accident investigators or lawyers. Such information can often swing the pendulum in one side’s favor. In instances where such information proves the at-fault party’s guilt, it can bring justice to the car accident injury victim. A good example is when a distracted driver talking on the phone causes a car crash that causes serious injuries. An eyewitness that recounts such information can help prove that the driver was negligent and, therefore, responsible for the injuries sustained by the victim.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s always good to speak with anyone at the crash site who may have witnessed the accident. Get their contact information for future reference. It may become necessary for your lawyer to contact them later on if your case goes to trial.
Calling the police or other relevant law enforcement officers is also ideal. When the police come to the scene, they’ll take a detailed report from everyone on site and all possible eyewitnesses. The sooner this happens, the better. Such a report may help to jog an eyewitness’s memory later on.
Factors that Could Impact Witness Testimony
The at-fault driver and their insurance company or legal team will do everything in their power to undermine eyewitness testimonies that favor the victim. From the moment the victim chooses to file a claim, the insurance adjuster and the insurance company’s legal counsel will try to find ways of discrediting any eyewitness account that does not support their position. This includes looking for any inconsistencies in the eyewitness statements down to the minute details. In addition to poking holes in eyewitness statements, the at-fault party and their lawyer may attack the eyewitness’s credibility. They can attempt to do this in the following ways:
i)Questioning the witness’ eyesight: Those with vision problems may not be reliable eyewitnesses. The at-fault party’s attorney will try to find any angle from which to attack an eyewitness’s eyesight. If that means digging into the eyewitness’s past to uncover a history of eyesight issues, then they’ll do it.
ii) Questioning the witness’ character: Reputation is crucial during testimony. If the eyewitness has a history of pathological lying, dishonesty, or criminal activity, their testimony is less likely to be credible.
iii) History of substance abuse: An eyewitness with a history of substance abuse will not make for a credible witness. It can always be argued that the eyewitness may have been under the influence of a controlled substance when they supposedly witnessed the car accident.
All in all, eyewitness testimony can help an accident victim’s claim as long as it is considered reliable.