Any car accident, no matter how serious, can be stressful for everyone involved. As stressful as it is, though, it’s important to take care of the aftermath in an orderly manner to ensure you put together everything you need for insurance and judicial purposes. One key piece of evidence in a car accident report is witness testimony. This is especially crucial if the other driver’s statement differs from your own. To ensure you find reliable witnesses when you’re in a car accident, here are some steps you should follow.
Unless your accident occurs in the middle of nowhere, there will likely be quite a few bystanders “rubbernecking” after your accident occurs. Rather than seeing them as a nuisance, try to approach as many of these people as you can and ask them if they witnessed the accident. If they did, ask their permission to record their statement on your phone so you can review it later. Also, ask if they got any video of the accident on their phone, and if they did, give them your contact information so they can send the video to you.
Check News Stories
Depending on the severity of your accident, there may have been a news crew that came out to do a story for the local news station. If so, you may be able to find a couple of witnesses by watching the news report later. Typically, when a witness appears on-screen, their name appears below their image. With a quick social media search, you can contact them to see if they’re willing to provide a witness account to you. The good news about this type of witness is that if someone is willing to be interviewed by a news crew, they’re also likely willing to be a witness in a trial with lawyers asking them questions.
Check the Scene
Though you may not have time to look around the scene of your accident immediately after it occurs, it’s a good idea to return to the scene as soon as you can. In today’s security-conscious world, there’s a decent chance that your accident was captured by one or more security cameras, which could provide rock-solid evidence of what occurred. Therefore, return to the scene and ask local business owners if they witnessed the accident and if they have cameras that may have recorded the accident.
Use Your Rights
As the victim of a car accident, you have the right to obtain a copy of the police report that was filed for that accident. In the report, there may be names of witnesses whom the police interviewed when they came to investigate. You, too, can question these witnesses if they’re willing to be interviewed. Simply use the included contact information and begin going down the list. It may be easier to have an attorney, like those at Siben & Siben LLP or a similar practice, obtain this information for you.
When putting together witness testimonies, it’s important that everything is saved and recorded. You don’t want to lose a chance at a claim simply because you spoke with someone who could have been helpful but forgot to record their testimony or get their contact information. Therefore, it’s important to save everything in a case like this, no matter how insignificant it seems.