According to the World Health Organization, about 1.3 million people die every year due to road traffic crashes. In many car accident cases, the only witnesses involved are the drivers of each vehicle. In these circumstances, it is usually the word of one driver against another. With high tension and anxiety post-accident, if opposing drivers believe the other is at fault, the testimony of each driver won’t help determine who is truly at fault.
Witness testimonies are an important part that make up an insurance claim and having a non-credible witness can end up damaging your claim more than it could help. If you were involved in a car accident and are looking to make a claim, credible eyewitness reports can end up making a large difference in the outcome of your car accident case.
Here, we discuss the importance a credible witness has in a car accident case.
What Determines Credibility in a Witness?
Credibility is determined by how trusting and believable a witness is. A testimony is most likely to be true due to a witness’s experience and how they portray their point of view. While you may believe your story is more than enough, a jury or insurance company might consider your side of the story biased, since you are the one directly impacted by the accident. If a witness’s testimony comes across as convincing and can be trusted, then that witness is credible. If a witness is not believable, then their testimony will not be considered for the case.
Here are some factors that determine a witnesses credibility:
- A clear criminal history
- Alcohol and drug-free at time of car accident
- Not related or friends with the driver
- Bad reputation
Factors That Can Affect A Witnesses Testimony
Non-credible witnesses can do more harm than good, and your car accident attorney may recommend avoiding witness testimonies.
Here are some factors that could negatively affect your car accident claim.
- Witnesses who give unpredictable accounts of the accident
- Distracted witnesses
- A witness who did not witness the entire incident
- Witnesses related to those involved in an accident
Tips on Getting a Credible Witness
It is important to ask yourself the following questions when trying to evaluate whether or not a witness is credible.
Was the witness distracted at the time of the accident?
What exactly was the person doing? Were they looking at their phone? Talking to a peer? If they were distracted doing something else at the time of the accident, their eyewitness accounts might be of less value.
Did the witness see the entire accident from start to finish?
If the witness only saw parts of the accident, or only heard the two cars colliding, they could lose credibility in the case.
Can the witness remember distinct details about the car accident?
Although memories can fade due to anxiety and stress during an accident, it is important that your witness remembers important details about the car accident. Does the person remember if the light went red at the intersection? Do they remember which car was speeding?
Does the witness have any connection to any of those involved in the car accident?
If the witness is friends or related to those involved in the accident, usually it can lead to questionable statements. It is important to have a witness you do not directly know so there is no bias involved.
Understanding Your Options
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident and is seeking legal help, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney that can help you with your case. They can help you identify credible witnesses that can help prove you are not at fault.