In the aftermath of a car crash, the scene may be chaotic. It can be difficult to remain calm and not panic. No one wants to believe they may have suffered severe injuries or be responsible for causing a catastrophic collision. The liable party will be expected to compensate you for your damages.
However, to ensure they are held accountable, your Duluth car accident attorney will need to prove negligence and liability. To do this, we will rely on third-party testimony and expert witnesses. Immediately following the collision, you may have an opportunity to speak with bystanders and witnesses to your motor vehicle wreck.
If you hope to make the at-fault party compensate you fairly for your damages, it may be in your best interests to speak with these witnesses as soon as possible after the accident. When you have called 911 and are waiting for emergency responders to arrive, now is the perfect time to start collecting valuable evidence to support your case. Witnesses can play an integral role in proving the defendant’s liability for your suffering.
Top Questions to Ask Car Accident Witnesses at the Scene
Immediately after the accident, if your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, take steps to talk with any witnesses to the collision. At this time, you may want to use your Notes app on your smartphone or even a recording tool to record some of the most important information about the accident. The following questions will be useful in helping build a case against the liable party:
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1. Where Were You When the Accident Occurred?
It is important to ask potential witnesses where they were in relation to the collision. This is because the defendant’s attorney will likely attempt to call in to question whether the witness was in close enough proximity to be reliable. The closer the witness was to the motor vehicle crash, the more reliable their testimony may be.
There may be multiple witnesses to the accident. If this is the case, always start with the ones that were closest to the collision. They will have had the best of you and may have seen more than others who were not as close by.
2. When Did You Notice the Car Crash?
It is important to talk with witnesses who saw as much as possible. The ideal car accident witness will have seen the moments leading up to the impact, the collision itself, and the aftermath. This can provide valuable information about who could have caused the collision, whether another driver was speeding or driving negligently, or any other notable facts about the accident.
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3. What Did You Hear Other Involved Parties Say Immediately After the Crash?
Asking the witnesses what they heard other involved parties say in the aftermath of the rack is essential. For example, if your witness heard the other driver apologize for speeding, looking down for a moment, or otherwise driving on safely, this could go a long way in helping prove the defendant’s liability. Witness confirmation after an accident can also be beneficial if the driver who hit you threatened you, was especially aggressive or angry, or expressed guilt for causing the accident.
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4. What Do You Remember Hearing or Seeing?
You should try to get as much information as possible from potential witnesses. The more information they have, the stronger their testimony will be, which could also help accident reconstructionists create reports that can establish negligence. Some details to ask witnesses about what they saw or heard at the accident scene include:
- Did the other involved driver cause the accident in some way?
- Did you hear any screeching breaks?
- Which vehicles were in which lanes of traffic?
- Were any of the involved vehicles moving erratically?
- What was the position of the vehicles at the time of the accident?
5. Will You Make a Statement to the Police?
Your witness testimony on record will be one of the most valuable pieces of evidence in your car accident case. Law enforcement officials may be able to use it to bring criminal charges and your car accident attorney can use these statements when negotiating with the insurance company or presenting your case at trial. Be sure to ask them for a recorded statement, as they may not be available to discuss your case at a later time, and if they cannot stay at the accident scene and wait for the police or your personal injury lawyer to arrive, request their contact information.
6. What Did You See People Doing Immediately After the Collision?
When speaking with witnesses, ask them about anything they may remember seeing when the accident occurred and afterward. They may have noticed the driver that hit you fleeing the scene, for example. Or maybe they noticed the other involved driver with an open alcohol bottle or cell phone in their hand which could indicate drunk or distracted driving.
7. What Were You Doing When the Accident Occurred?
The defense will be looking to challenge the witness’s credibility. Ask witnesses about what they were doing when the accident occurred. This can help to establish that they were in the right state of mind.
8. Did You Know Anyone Involved in the Collision?
One of the most important questions to ask witnesses is whether they know anyone who was involved in the accident. If the witness knows the other involved parties, there may be a conflict of interest, which could ultimately harm your case. However, it is important to note that a witness having a pre-existing relationship with the driver who hit you does not necessarily mean that it will have a negative impact on the outcome of your claim.
Connect with Georgia’s Leading Car Accident Law Firm Today
If you can get any of this information from car accident witnesses, you should do so. However, your Georgia personal injury attorney will also be conducting an in-depth interview with bystanders and witnesses so we can obtain further information and find out whether they will agree to testify on your behalf if your case goes to trial. You can rely on our team to collect as much evidence as possible from witnesses so you can recover maximum compensation for your losses.
Hold the liable party accountable for their negligence to the fullest extent the law allows. Demand the compensation you deserve when you get help from our legal advocates at Barrios Virgüez. Complete our convenient contact form or call us to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as today.