While witness statements are not always crucial after car accidents, they have proven to be a key piece of evidence when trying to prove fault in personal injury cases.
A witness statement, or witness report, contains the words of a person that has no interest or stake in the car accident investigation. The witness statement serves as an objective, unbiased point of view and should only contain the facts.
What To Include In A Witness Statement
A witness statement does not need to be elaborate; a simple written statement will suffice. While the law does not require a specific format or notarization for a witness statement, there are two things it should always include: the witness’s signature and contact information.
These two elements are essential if your case goes to court and the witness needs to verify their report in front of a judge and jury. The signature upholds that the information provided in the statement is accurate.
Additionally, the report should stick to the facts and include as many details as possible, such as:
- the time and date of the accident
- the location of the crash
- the witness’ position in relation to the crash
- how the accident occurred
- description of the vehicles involved
- the position of the vehicles before and after the crash
- how the crash occurred from the witness’ point of view
- the weather, road conditions and lighting at the time of the accident
- any damage to the vehicles and other property (buildings, signs, roads, bridges, etc.)
- any unusual circumstances in the area
Who Obtains The Witness Statement?
If there is a witness on the scene of the accident, a police officer should take the statement. But that’s not always the case. Therefore, it’s important you obtain the contact information of the witness so you can contact the witness yourself and get your own report.
What Happens If The Witness Leaves The Site?
If witnesses to your accident leave before you or the police can speak with them, it is then up to you to seek them out. While it may be difficult to find motorists that saw the crash, you may be able to visit businesses or homes near the accident site for information regarding the crash.
However, do not manipulate a witness to help you win your personal injury case. A manipulated or dishonest witness will not help you succeed in court.
Should You Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer, especially if you are seeking compensation for injuries or property damage from an auto accident. Not only will a personal injury lawyer guide you through the legal process and stand by your side, but they will thoroughly evaluate your insurance benefits and examine the evidence to determine the best course of action. A lawyer also deals with the insurance company and helps ensure you receive fair treatment.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Dallas, Plano, Allen, Frisco or McKinney, Texas, contact The VanDeLoo Firm at (972) 200-5080 for a free initial consultation.