After a car crash, your instinct may be to focus on the people who were directly involved in the crash. This makes sense – certainly, the first thing you need to do is to check whether anyone is hurt and call an ambulance if it is needed. It is also important to speak with the other driver to exchange information. However, the people who could become most important in your car accident claim may not be in either crashed vehicle. Third-party witnesses can be extremely important, especially in the event that your case goes to trial. If you have been hurt in a car accident, you should contact an experienced attorney who can help you with collecting evidence.
Why Are Uninvolved Witnesses so Important in Car Accident Claims?
Physical evidence alone does not always show who was at fault in a car accident. If two vehicles collided in an intersection and both drivers claim it was their turn at the stop sign, the case may turn into a “he-said, she-said” dispute. However, if someone who was not involved in the crash saw what happened, courts and insurance companies may be inclined to take their word for it.
A witness who was not involved in the accident has no stake in the outcome of your claim, and therefore has no reason or motivation to lie. Bystanders make very credible witnesses, especially when the drivers give differing accounts. Neutral witnesses are typically believed.
Bystanders may also have seen something that you did not. Perhaps you could not see that the driver who hit you was texting, or fumbling through their purse when they caused the crash, but a pedestrian walking by could have. The outside point of view a witness has may be incredibly useful.
What Are the Difficulties With Accident Witnesses?
Getting witnesses to stop in the first place can be a challenge. Busy people may simply keep driving after seeing a wreck. Pedestrian witnesses may not stop if the weather is freezing or rainy and they are hurrying to get indoors. Others just do not want to become involved. Drivers who have just been in an accident are generally shaken and may be reluctant to start flagging people down to ask for contact information.
In more serious accident cases, you may have been too gravely injured or too worried about a seriously hurt loved one to go looking around for witnesses. However, witnesses are more likely to stop if the accident appears serious.
There are ways an attorney can help you work with witnesses who may be uncooperative or reluctant to get involved. It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as you are able, as witnesses should be interviewed quickly while their memory is fresh.
Talk to a Barrington Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured by a careless driver, Barrington Injury Attorneys may be able to recover compensation for you. Our Cook County car accident lawyers are experienced at thoroughly investigating car accidents to prove fault. Contact us at 847-381-8700 for a free consultation.