If there were any eyewitnesses to your accident—car accident or otherwise—these witnesses’ statements can be key to your accident claim. The following reviews how eyewitness statements can help you in recovering damages:
Help Determine Fault
One of the most valuable traits of eyewitness statements is that they can be critical in determining fault. If there is a classic he-said-she-said dispute, observers can help add clarity to the debate. In other words, a witness’s interpretation of the accident helps authorities or an insurance adjuster determine how the accident occurred, and who might have acted negligently.
Help Substantiate Injuries
Calculating compensation for pain and suffering as well as tangible injuries is another major part of an accident claim. Unfortunately, an insurance adjuster may have doubts as to how exactly you got hurt, and whether or not it occurred in the wreck or from something else. If witnesses saw the crash, though, then it’s also likely that they saw you incur your injuries. Or, they perhaps saw the severity of the accident, speaking to the likelihood of injuries.
On the same note, a witness can also help to discredit claims of an injury sustained by the other party. For example, if the other party is claiming that your actions caused a head injury, but no witnesses saw any trauma to the head during the actual accident, then the claim may be disproved.
The Best Witnesses for Your Claim
Not all witnesses are created equal; if there were multiple witnesses to your accident, you'd want to choose the most credible one(s). Reliable witnesses are those that fit these guidelines.
- Actually observed the entirety of the accident from beginning to end
- Aren’t related to you in any way or invested in the outcome of your claim
- Are in good physical condition (good eyesight and hearing)
- Weren’t distracted at the time of collision
You can filter through the best witnesses using the help of an attorney. An attorney can help you understand more about witness credibility and how it can affect whom you choose. An attorney can also help you track down witnesses and reach out to them.
Meet with a Car Accident Attorney in Seattle Today
It’s best to get eyewitness accounts as soon as possible so that the details are fresh in their minds. But not only is the freshness of a memory necessary, filing a claim within the state’s statute of limitations is important, too. In Washington State, you have three years to file an accident claim for damages.