Why You Should Collect Witness Information After a Car Accident
While speaking to witnesses might be one of the last things on your mind after a car accident, doing so can actually be helpful to a future injury case. So many car accident cases come down to pitting one driver’s word against the other’s, so having a witness available could provide some much-needed third-party insight into the accident’s details.
In fact, when you file an accident claim with your insurance provider, one of the first questions you’re bound to hear is, “were there any witnesses present?” Insurance adjusters need to piece together an accurate version of the events tat took place when determining what will be covered under the claim, and without a witness to give a third-party account, the adjuster is left to compare stories from both drivers and determine which one seems more credible.
Of course, the credibility of your witness is also extremely important. Here are a few of the factors that affect witness credibility:
- Where the witness was located during the accident (in another car? On the street or sidewalk?)
- Whether the witness saw the accident in its entirety or just a portion
- Whether or not the witness had a chance to watch a car before the accident to see if it was speeding
- Whether or not the witness was distracted
- Whether the witness is relying on observations made individually or was influenced by other witnesses’ observations
- The character of the witness
- The witness’ physical condition and any possible disabilities
In the immediate aftermath of your accident, you do not need to worry about whether a witness is credible — that’s for investigators to determine later. Simply record the contact information of any witnesses available at the scene so that you have their testimony to rely on later, if needed.
For more information about the importance of witnesses and what to do after a car accident in New York City, consult an attorney.