Which Factors Have an Effect on Witness Credibility in a Car Accident Case?

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Bystanders describing the scene of an accident to the police officer

The credibility of witnesses is determined by a variety of variables, including the witness’ relationship to the accident victim, whether the witness has a criminal record or a history of lying to the authorities, and whether the witness’s view of the accident was obstructed in any way. The following are further examples of issues that would undermine the credibility of a car accident witness and eventually jeopardize the accident claim:

  • There were inconsistencies in the statement’s specifics.
  • During his deposition, the witness was combative and confrontational.
  • This could have happened because the witness was engaged in activities that prevented him or her from witnessing the accident.
  • Observing the accident would have been difficult from the perspective of a witness.
  • It is possible that the witness just witnessed the aftermath of the occurrence and not the entire collision.
  • Due to the fact that the witness was a participant in the accident, he or she should be considered a victim rather than a witness.
  • The defendant was judged to be guilty of a criminal charge against him.
  • The witness was a friend of the person who was injured in the accident.
  • The witness had a tendency to become bewildered.
  • At the time of the accident, the individual was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The witness was completely unaware.
  • The witness suffers from eyesight or hearing impairment.

What Guidelines Should I Follow When Speaking with Witnesses?

There are appropriate and inappropriate ways to approach a witness who was there during the accident. Tensions are frequently high following an automobile accident, especially if the event resulted in considerable property damage and serious casualties. However, one should avoid approaching a witness aggressively or attempting to convince them of what they saw or did not see. Indeed, if a witness is under duress, they may be less willing to comply. However, if the victim of a car accident approaches the witness calmly and respectfully, the witness is much more likely to cooperate and provide a believable account. When requesting a statement from a witness, the following guidelines should be followed:

Instruct the witness to jot down what he or she observed and heard in the seconds preceding the accident, during the accident, and shortly thereafter.

If the witness is hesitant to provide a written statement, request permission to write it down for them. After completing the statement, the witness should examine it and then sign and date it.

Notarized statements are not required.

If a witness does not wish to provide a written statement, they may also record their statement. This should ideally be a video recording, with the witness providing his or her name and contact information. Also, a lawyer for car accidents in Boston might also help convince the witness to testify.

In rare instances, the at-fault driver may unwittingly aid the injured motorist’s case by making a comment implying fault. For instance, if the at-fault motorist apologizes for failing to spot the victim and explains that they were just looking away from the road for a brief minute, the injured driver may interpret this as an inadvertent statement against the other driver. Legally, statements like these can carry a great deal of weight. They can, however, be used against the wounded driver if the injured driver apologizes for their role in the accident or makes any statements following the accident that could be used against them.

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