The Importance of Witnesses to an Accident Settlement
Sept. 19, 2023
When an accident occurs, the drivers involved may have conflicting versions as to how the car crash happened. This may eventually turn into a “he said, she said” argument, which can complicate matters during the claims process and affect your ability to secure fair compensation.
Witnesses may be the tiebreaker you are looking for. With witnesses, you can prove your side of the story and achieve a more favorable outcome when negotiating a settlement. Our attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Meyer, P.C. can help you find and interview witnesses to support your claim. We have offices in Macon and Savannah, Georgia, but serve accident victims throughout the state, including but not limited to Dodge, Houston, Candler, Telfair, Chatham, Bibb, Wheeler, and Bulloch.
How Can Witness Testimony Help My Accident Settlement?
After a car accident, your inability to prove that the other driver was at fault can become an obstacle during settlement negotiations. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine liability unless there is hard evidence such as photographs and videos. However, even when there is sufficient evidence to prove your side of the story, you may face a lot of pushback from the insurance company.
That is where witness testimony can come in handy. Statements provided by neutral parties who were present at the scene of the accident at the time of its occurrence can play a pivotal role in establishing liability and strengthening your case. Here are some of the ways witness testimony can help you in getting the settlement you deserve:
Add credibility to your claim. When witness testimony corroborates your side of the story, it can add credibility to your personal injury claim, which can positively affect your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
Provide a clear and unbiased picture of how the accident occurred. Often, parties involved in the crash are not able to judge their actions or the other party’s actions without bias. For this reason, witness testimony can provide an unbiased account of what happened.
Establish fault. If the witness saw how the accident occurred, their account of events leading up to the crash can be invaluable for establishing fault.
Provide information regarding the victim’s injuries. When the insurance company disputes the nature or severity of the victim’s injuries, witness testimony can be crucial in clarifying how the victim was affected by the crash and what visible injuries/symptoms they suffered at the scene.
As you can see, the importance of witness testimony in settlement negotiations for your personal injury claim cannot be overstated, especially when other types of evidence are not available or are not enough to prove your side of the story.
What Should I Ask Witnesses?
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, car crashes were the second-leading cause of ER visits, hospitalizations, and injury deaths in the state in 2020. If you get hurt in a car accident, you may have a hard time obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses unless you have compelling evidence, which may include witness testimony, to support your claim.
When preparing your case, it is important to know which questions to ask your witnesses to ensure that their testimony is credible and corroborates your side of the story. Some of these questions may include:
In your own words, how did the accident occur?
How far away were you from the crash site when it happened?
What did you see shortly before and immediately after the crash?
What did you do after the accident?
Were there any other witnesses at the scene?
Where were you going and where were you coming from when the accident happened?
Asking the right questions can make a major difference between weak and strong testimony, which is why you might want to get assistance from an attorney when interviewing witnesses.
Knowledgeable Legal Assistance
When you are involved in an automobile accident, witnesses can play a crucial role in the claims process. Our skilled attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Meyer, P.C. can help you use witness testimony strategically with the aim of strengthening your case and influencing the settlement in your favor. Get in touch today to request a free case evaluation and start collecting witness statements to build a strong case.