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Representing Accident & Injury Victims

Handling Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and
Criminal Defense Cases

ATTORNEY MATTHEW C. HINES

Representing Accident & Injury Victims

Handling Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Criminal Defense Cases

ATTORNEY MATTHEW C. HINES

How Witness Testimony Can Help with Your Auto Accident Claim

How Witness Testimony Can Help with Your Auto Accident Claim

As experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys, our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines have seen many different types of accident cases. We understand the law and how to help our clients secure the most compensation possible.

If another party caused the accident, providing evidence that backs up your claims is essential. An effective type of evidence is witness testimony.

Most witnesses make objective statements based on what they see and remember. Their statements can be extremely helpful when trying to prove negligence in a car accident case.

However, other types of witnesses can provide testimony, too. Expert witnesses are individuals who know about the specific area of law and how it applies to your case and situation. Learn more about witness testimony here and why it is so important to any car accident claim.

Different Witnesses for Your Auto Accident Claim

As mentioned above, two main types of witnesses can offer testimony or statements in your case:

  1. Eyewitnesses: These are the people who saw the accident happen.
  2. Expert witnesses: An example is an accident reconstruction expert who can offer insight into the accident and help to strengthen your case.

Eyewitness Testimony

An eyewitness is someone who was at the scene when the accident occurred. Eyewitnesses need to meet certain criteria for their testimony to be beneficial. This criterion includes:

  • Someone who wasn’t involved in the accident
  • Someone who is not related to the liable party or accident victim

If someone meets these specifications, they can provide a third-party, objective view of what happened and what caused the accident.

Someone who was involved in the accident (even in a small way) or who is related to or knows one of the parties may not provide reliable testimony. Even though their statements will still have value, the testimony isn’t as objective.

Common examples of people who can serve as an eyewitness include:

  • Other drivers saw the accident but were not involved.
  • Pedestrians who saw the accident but were not involved.
  • Anyone else who was close to where the accident occurred but was not involved, including customers, workers, property owners, and more.

Each of these people (among others) can provide testimony that works to strengthen your case against the negligent party.

Expert Witness Testimony

The circumstances of your case may require your Atlanta auto accident attorneys to utilize the services of expert witnesses. This is a common path for complex cases.

Examples of expert witnesses include:

  • Mental health care providers
  • Medical professionals
  • Highway safety experts
  • Economists
  • Engineering experts
  • Accident reconstruction experts

This is not a comprehensive list. Your attorney will determine what expertise is needed based on your case and its circumstances.

How Does Witness Testimony Help Your Car Accident Claim?

Using witness testimony provides an impartial view of an accident. In many cases, witnesses can provide critical information showing how the at-fault party is liable for the accident.

For example, an eyewitness may have noticed that the at-fault driver was texting directly before the accident occurred. This evidence can be used to corroborate your claim that the other party was responsible for the crash. If the driver accused of negligence claims another factor caused the collision, eyewitness testimony may be used to contradict these claims.

If you are involved in an Atlanta car accident, it’s smart to talk to anyone nearby. Find out if they saw the accident and get their contact information. Information to gather includes their name and phone number. Having this will ensure your Atlanta auto accident attorneys can contact them later to get an official statement.

It’s important to contact law enforcement to come to the accident scene. The police or authorities will create an official accident report with pertinent information related to the incident, including the witness’s contact information.

While the information will be in the police report, you should also try to collect it.

More specific ways that witness testimony can benefit your auto accident case include:

Proving Your Innocence

A witness statement can help reduce or eliminate doubts that you were partially at fault for the accident. Some at-fault drivers and insurance companies can try to place the blame on an injured victim to deny or devalue your claim.

Witness statements can help to discredit the other driver’s versions of events or to highlight the inconsistencies in the other driver’s story. Sometimes, it’s necessary to show that you are innocent.

Fact Preservation

Witness statements will help preserve the facts of your case. Sometimes, witnesses will have photos or videos of the accident from where they were. If this information is offered in a recorded or written statement, it can help convince the insurance company for the at-fault driver to offer a settlement.

Prove Negligence

If your goal is to recover compensation, you and your Atlanta auto accident attorneys must prove negligence. One or several witnesses may have seen the at-fault driver acting negligently, and, as a result, they can provide a statement about this.

Injury Validation

Witnesses can provide more information about the injuries they experienced to the judge or jury. The statements will often detail your actions or your behavior while at the scene. For example, if you could move and the amount of pain you are in.

The witnesses’ statements will also help disprove claims from the other driver about bodily injuries. If the driver at fault for the accident is not telling the truth about their injuries, then witnesses can discredit them by stating that the at-fault driver was moving around or walking normally while at the scene.

What Can Impact Witness Credibility?

The insurance companies involved in your accident case are for-profit businesses. An important part of an insurance adjuster’s job is to reduce their losses and protect the company’s bottom line.

This means that the insurance adjuster, given your case, will evaluate and examine all aspects of it. They will look for any ways or options to “poke holes” in the evidence that you have given.

When you use eyewitness statements to substantiate your claim, the insurance adjuster assigned to the case may challenge the credibility of their statement. Some of the grounds they may use to do this include:

Connection

If a witness is found to be personally connected to you, the insurance adjuster may say this is a conflict of interest. When a witness shares a link with you, they may not seem reliable because they could have a personal bias and say something to help you in the accident case.

An example would be if someone were in the car when the accident occurred. In this case, their testimony may not be as reliable as the testimony given by a stranger who wasn’t involved in the accident and who doesn’t know you.

Consistency

If you have a witness who is not consistent with what happened or cannot remember details, they may be viewed as unreliable. Consistency is key when it comes to utilizing witness testimony.

Health

The health of a witness may impact their credibility, too. For example, suppose a witness has bad eyesight and was not wearing their glasses or contacts when the accident occurred. In that case, the insurance adjuster can challenge their account of the accident and what happened.

Observations

Sometimes what the witness saw will come into question. If the witness only saw what happened before the accident or the aftermath, the insurance adjuster may call their credibility into question. The witness may have been distracted when the accident occurred, which means their full attention wasn’t on what was happening around them, which could impact how credible they are and their testimony.

Atlanta auto accident attorneys can help determine if a witness is credible and if they can strengthen your case.

Don’t Wait to Hire Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys for Help with Your Claim

You have options if you are involved in an auto accident in Atlanta. If you believe the accident caused another driver’s negligence, you can file a claim to recover compensation.

Remember, it’s necessary to prove they are at fault and that their actions or inactions resulted in the accident that caused your injuries. One type of evidence that can be invaluable in auto accident claims is witness testimony. Our Atlanta auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines are ready to help you with your claim and contact any witness who can substantiate what you say happened. With this testimony, you can strengthen your case and help convince the insurance company for the other party to make a fair settlement offer.

Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your claim. This is the first step in any accident claim.

Read More:
The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Georgia

Do Cars or Trucks Cause More Accidents in Atlanta?

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