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Working With Eyewitnesses After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Posted on in Personal Injury

DuPage County personal injury lawyerImmediately after a serious car accident with injuries, it can be very difficult to think clearly. Your first priority has to be getting off the road and out of harm’s way. You may not yet feel the pain from your injuries due to the natural painkilling effects of adrenaline. Calling the police, getting medical care, exchanging insurance information, and contacting an attorney are all high priorities.

Another top-level priority in the immediate aftermath is making contact with bystanders who saw the accident so that they can corroborate your side of the story. Neutral eyewitnesses can provide very convincing testimony or statements that support your efforts to recover compensation. It is important to get contact information from anyone who saw the accident as soon as possible so that your lawyer can get in touch with them.

Approaching Bystanders Who Saw Your Crash

Not all eyewitnesses are happy to stick around and help out. There are a variety of reasons that passersby may not be interested in making a statement. They could be in a big rush that day and unwilling to stop. Or, they could have an arrest warrant and be more interested in getting out of there before the police arrive than they are in your claim. This is to be expected.

While it is helpful to have witnesses stick around to give a statement immediately, it is not always possible. If you can, focus on getting names and contact information. Your attorney may be able to elicit cooperation from witnesses later, even if the witness was not willing to stick around the accident scene.

If the witness is willing to stay on the scene and talk to the police, the police are also usually inclined to trust neutral witnesses if it is unclear how the accident occurred. Additionally, the witness can produce a written statement right away, when they are likely to remember more details.

The Weight of Witness Statements

Testimony from neutral witnesses is generally given a lot of weight. Third parties who were not involved in the crash, did not know anyone who was involved in the crash, and have nothing to gain from the outcome of your claim also have no reason to lie about what they saw.

The more witnesses there are to corroborate your story, the more likely it is that you will come out ahead. This is not to say that eyewitness accounts are unimpeachable. If your case goes to trial, the other driver’s attorney may make arguments accusing the witness of some type of bias, for example. Yet, judges and juries alike tend to trust neutral witnesses.

Contact a DuPage County Car Accident Attorney

Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices is experienced in investigating car accidents and gathering evidence. Our skilled Naperville car accident lawyers will use witness testimony, if available, as just one part of the body of evidence we will strive to build up for you. Call 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

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