When you are involved in a car accident, numerous things need to be done. You need to contact the authorities and you should take as many pictures as you can so you can document the entire accident scene. This does include pictures of the damages to all vehicles, skid marks, injuries, and even weather conditions. Then, you most likely need witnesses. But, the witnesses you find are not necessarily going to be credible.
Witness testimonials can be quite difficult to deal with and an injury lawyer will often dismiss the statement made by someone that is not credible since this would only hurt the case. In fact, the best lawyers actually talk to the witnesses, analyze their testimonies, and only after they determine if there is value or not for the client’s case.
What Impacts Witness Credibility?
There are many factors that impact witness credibility. This includes things that are quite obvious, like the relationship between the accident victim and the witness. For instance, if the witness is the victim’s spouse, injury lawyers rarely even consider using the testimony in the claim. It is also possible that witnesses have criminal records here and were proven to be lying to police officers in the past. Even something simple as doubt about whether or not the witness actually saw the accident can be a problem.
Besides the obvious things that impact witness credibility, you should also think about the following that can do damage to claims:
- Inconsistent statements about car accident details.
- The vantage point of the witness made it difficult to see accident details.
- Witnesses were hostile when offering statements.
- Witnesses were doing something that could have stopped them from actually witnessing what happened.
- Witnesses just saw what happened after the accident. This can only be relevant if there was something else of relevancy after the collision.
- The witness was previously convicted after committing a felony.
- Witnesses were confused.
- There is an obvious relationship between the accident victim and the witness. This applies even if the relationship is just friendship.
- Witnesses were distracted.
- Witnesses have impaired hearing or poor eyesight.
Are Witness Testimonials Important?
Insurance adjusters do what they can to find some holes in the story of the victim. The purpose is to have proof that the claim should be denied or a lower settlement should be offered. Having credible witness statements is vital because this offers strong evidence. A credible witness can mean the difference between obtaining a fair compensation and being denied any payment.
Because witnesses are so important for many car accident claims, assessing the credibility of who witnessed the incident is a very important part of the process. The truth is that it is highly unlikely you will do this correctly since it takes a lot of experience to figure out if a testimony will be valuable for a case or not.
The experienced car accident attorney is the only person that should make the final decision if a testimony is included in the claim on behalf of the injured party. The lawyer will analyze many things and will adequately determine credibility.