ARE WITNESS STATEMENTS REALLY THAT IMPORTANT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
Many people who have been involved in car crashes ask themselves (and their lawyers) this question: “How important are witness statements, and are they really the juggernaut behind your car accident claim?”
In short, yes. We brought our Hollywood car accident attorney from the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A., to spell out the importance of witness statements when it comes to handling a personal injury or property damage claim in Florida, where nearly 400,000 motorists are involved in motor vehicle collisions every year.
How to get witness statements after a car accident?
While Florida laws do not oblige you to speak to witnesses or write down their contact information, it is highly advised that you do get a written statement from each and every witness at the scene of a car accident, get their contact information, and, ideally, convince them to testify in court.
Our best car accident attorneys in Hollywood explain that witness accounts usually make a huge difference when juries and judges are reviewing car accidents, trucking accidents, Uber & Lyft accidents and other motor vehicle accidents in Florida.
When approaching a witness, write down their name, address and contact information, and either write down what they saw and/or heard or record their statements using your phone or recording device. If a witness believes that the other motorist was at-fault, make sure they indicate it clearly in their statement and provide their reasoning.
Louis Grande, a Providence personal injury lawyer agrees. “The best thing you can do after an accident is to seek qualified medical attention, get all the information and evidence you can, and talk to an attorney immediately”, says Attorney Grande. “The reality is, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. They want to pay you as little as possible. A personal injury lawyer, however, works for you and is financially incentivized to get you the highest possible award for your injury.”
While it is not necessarily guaranteed that juries and judges will look at the car accident from the perspective of that witness, they will most likely no longer question the credibility of your side of the story (given that it is identical to that of the witness).
It is advised to have the witnesses sign and date every page of their written statement. Do not forget to write down their phone number (you may need them during the trial).
Why witness statements are essential for your claim
Witness statements (the more, the better, as long as they are perfectly in line with your side of the story) are an essential part of your car accident claim as they can:
- Support your claims of innocence (their testimony can either reduce or completely eliminate doubts that you were even partially responsible for causing the accident. This is vital, because many at-fault motorists in Hollywood and elsewhere in Florida usually attempt to argue that the other driver, the victim, was somewhat at-fault for the crash);
- Support your claims of the other driver’s fault (whether the other motorist was partially or fully responsible for the car accident, witnesses can be invaluable to help the court establish liability);
- Support your claims of injury (you may persuade the court about the scope and extent of your injuries, pain and suffering through witness statements, which can detail your actions and behavior at the scene of the car crash);
- Discredit the other driver’s injury (similarity, witness statements can be vital to disprove the other driver’s claims of a bodily injury. If the at-fault driver is lying that he/she was injured as a result of the collision, too – and may be even wearing a fake plaster cast – witnesses can discredit his/her injuries by saying that he/she was walking or even running around the scene of the accident).
If used properly by an experienced Hollywood car accident attorney, witness accounts can drive your personal injury claim toward success. Here at the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A., our lawyers know how to obtain effective witness accounts and use them in a way that will maximize the monetary value of your claim.
Call our offices at 305-931-6666 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.