car accident witnesses

Why You Should Gather Eyewitness Testimony at the Scene of an Auto Accident

You were driving safely, using your turn signals, and paying attention to other drivers on the road. But no matter how carefully you drive, you can’t control other drivers—and this time, someone crashed into you. Your next steps are to gather evidence, contact an attorney, and make sure you get what you deserve. What role does eyewitness testimony play in that?

There’s a lot to think about as you pursue a car accident injury case, especially if you are trying to recover from accident injuries. That’s where we come in. The team at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short is here to help you through this challenging time. Call us at 334-821-3892 to schedule a consultation now.

Some Evidence Doesn’t Last, But Eyewitness Testimony Usually Does

Evidence is an essential part of any personal injury claim, and luckily, car accidents usually leave behind plenty of it. However, some of that evidence fades with time or can’t be verified.

Consider, for example, the crash scene. If you’re lucky, you’ll remember to take photos and video footage of the crash scene. If you don’t, though, you just have to hope that your insurance company believes you over the other driver. That evidence is gone as soon as the road cleanup crew leaves.

Eyewitness testimony is a valuable type of evidence because it doesn’t disappear in a matter of hours or days. If you can get in touch with an eyewitness shortly after the accident, you can get their story while their memories are fresh and use that testimony in settlement negotiations or later in court if necessary.

Photos to Take

Taking the right photos is crucial. While anything is better than nothing, taking your time and getting all of the physical evidence you need can put you in a much better position when you begin your personal injury claim. You may want to take these photos:

  • Photographs of both vehicles
  • Photos of your vehicle from multiple angles and distances
  • Photos showing the road, street markers, and any other identifying information that can prove where the accident occurred
  • Proof of the time of day and weather conditions
  • Skid marks
  • Any damage to public property, such as sidewalks, medians, or light poles
  • Photos of traffic lights and cameras in the vicinity
  • Any injuries you sustained in the crash
  • Proof that emergency services showed up to provide assistance
  • Photos of anyone who was in the car with you at the time of the accident

A Neutral Third Party Can Clear Up Opposing Stories

When the police arrive at the scene of an accident, they’ll listen to your side of the story and the other driver’s side. There’s a good chance that those stories will directly oppose each other, especially if the other driver realizes they made an error and they want to cover their tracks. A neutral eyewitness can tell police what really happened. An eyewitness is especially important if the other driver has someone in the car with them, as it’s likely that their friend or family member will corroborate their story—whether or not it’s true.

Consider this example. You are in the right lane, trying to merge into the middle lane of a highway. You put on your turn signal, check your blind spot multiple times, and begin to merge. Shortly after you start, a driver in the far-left lane swerves into your car and blindsides you. They claim that they were merging first and that you did not have your turn signal on, so they had no way of knowing what you were doing. The driver behind both of you could verify that you had your turn signal on and that you were changing lanes first, making it easier to prove that the other driver caused the accident.

Testimony May Encourage a Settlement

No one wants to go through a long court battle to get compensation for a car accident they didn’t even cause. Getting a fair settlement from the insurance company is a faster and less stressful solution. If the other party’s insurance provider knows you have eyewitnesses who corroborate your story and prove their client wrong, they don’t want that evidence to end up in court. They could end up owing you far more than they would ever offer in a settlement.

Strong eyewitness testimony can put the insurance company in a position where they have to offer a full and fair settlement to avoid the cost, time, and stress of court. To make the most of this type of evidence, ensure that you get contact information for the eyewitness before you leave the scene of the accident.

Find Out How We Can Help You with Your Car Accident Claim

A strong personal injury case begins with a legal team that understands your accident and is committed to helping you get what you deserve. At Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short, we fight aggressively for every client to get the compensation they are owed. Let’s get started by setting up a consultation and discussing your case in greater detail. You can call us at 334-821-3892 or get in touch with us online. We look forward to building the strongest case possible for you.

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