The Importance of Witnesses in Accident Claims

After you are involved in a car accident (or any type of accident) one of the first things you should do is see if you can find anyone who witnessed the event and get that person's name and contact information. Why is this so important? The answer is that having a credible witness on your side can dramatically increase your chances of proving who is at fault when you later file an insurance claim. Without a witness, your claim can easily be reduced to a game of "he said, she said," with both parties claiming that the other person is at fault. Insurance companies will often ask if there were any third parties that saw the accident, and they will often give these witnesses' statements great weight when they decide whether to approve or deny a claim. If a personal injury matter goes to court, witness statements will usually be used as important evidence in the case.

Accident victims should keep in mind that not every witness is considered credible. A witness might not be considered credible if there is reason to believe that the individual did not properly observe the accident, if the person has a history of being dishonest, or if the witness is seen as being biased in some way. Here are a few reasons an insurance company or court might question a witness' credibility:

  • The witness had poor eyesight or hearing at the time of the accident and who was not wearing the appropriate glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids
  • It is believed that the witness did not see enough of the incident to make a fair assessment of who was at fault
  • It is believed that the witness was too distracted at the time of the accident (such as a pedestrian who was trying to flee from an oncoming vehicle)
  • The witness is a friend or family member of one of the parties involved in the accident (causing the individual to appear biased)
  • The witness has a reputation of lying or who has a criminal history
  • The witness changes his or her story or appears to get overly confused about what happened
  • It is believed that the witness was impaired by drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred

Since some witnesses are credible and others are not, it is best to best the contact information of as many witnesses as possible after your accident occurs. This provides you with additional options if one or more witnesses ends up lacking credibility.

Were you hurt in an accident in the Atlanta, Georgia area that was caused by the negligence of another party? If you were, then it's time to call Kalka & Baer LLC for assistance. We have experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys who can fight for full compensation on your behalf. Contact us and get a free case evaluation!