Witness statements can be a crucial part of a car crash claim. When you are involved in a car accident, you may suffer significant losses in the form of personal injuries or property damage, or both. If the crash was caused due to another driver’s fault, you may be able to recover compensatory damages with help from a good Atlanta auto accident lawyer.
However, in an overwhelming majority of the claims, the insurer or the at-fault driver is likely to dispute the claim. This leaves you with the burden of the proof. And you must produce the relevant evidence to support and prove your claim. The more evidence you have, the sooner an insurance company is likely to settle the claim and pay the damages.
A key part of such evidence is the witness statements. Here is a look at what witness statements are in the context of a car crash and what role they play in a car crash claim.
What Are Witness Statements in a Car Crash?
In a car accident, a witness is someone who is not directly involved in the crash but is able to observe it firsthand. A witness may watch the accident from the roadside, from a pavement, from another vehicle on the road, or from virtually any position which is close enough to the crash scene. Based on this, the witness is then able to provide an unbiased version of the crash.
If the version of the crash that the witness narrates is in your favor, it can be a key piece of evidence to win the claim. This is because judges and juries lay a lot of importance with witness statements. And if a witness testimony is in your favor, the insurance company is going to factor it in when deciding whether or not to accept your claim.
Contacting Witnesses on the Crash Scene
If you suffer a car accident, it is important that you speak to any witnesses present on the scene. Make sure that you note down the names, contact details, and addresses of the witnesses. This information is invaluable as it allows you to contact the witnesses soon afterwards in order to seek their testimony for your claim.
How to Get Witness Testimony?
It is generally a good idea to solicit witness testimony at the earliest following a crash. This is because many witnesses are passersby who may move out of the area in a few days. Others may change addresses as they move for work or personal reasons. The more you delay, the harder it becomes to seek out witnesses and get their testimony.
When getting witness testimony, it is best to consult a good lawyer. This is because the witness needs to be asked the right set of questions that can bring out the facts and clearly show who was at fault. Even if a witness knows some facts and not all of them, a lawyer will help knit them together to support your claim.
It is typically possible to get witness statements as a written statement, or in the form of an audio or video. When you get a written statement from a witness, this is known as an affidavit. The affidavit is a legal document that is admissible in a court of law. This makes it an important piece of evidence.
Depositions are otherwise used to record witness statements. In a deposition, a witness sits from across you and the lawyer. The lawyer asks the witness a large set of questions which may also be audio or video-recorded. Depositions also serve as a very useful piece of evidence in support of your crash claim. A court reporter may also transcribe a deposition so that it is available as a written copy.
Getting witness statements early on is beneficial in many ways. If the statements corroborate your version of the crash, you can use them to reinforce your claim. If the statements contradict your version, you get time enough to assess your legal options accordingly.
Hiring a Reliable Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered losses in an Atlanta car crash, our lawyers can help you get witness statements and gather other evidence for your damages claim. We also offer liaison services and negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf to get the best deal. With our lawyers by your side, you are better able to seek the right terms of settlement and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today to discuss your Atlanta crash with our experts lawyers today.