What Makes a Credible Car Accident Witness?

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When you have been involved in an accident, you may be interviewing several witnesses to bolster your legal case against the other driver. Eyewitness testimony can be iffy – some great witnesses can absolutely help your case, and others may not make the best testimony givers. The other party’s insurance company will do what they can to avoid paying your claim, including attacking your witness and their credibility. You should lookout for a few things when deciding if your witness is an asset you can use in your case.  

The Strongest Witnesses Have Certain Common Characteristics

The strongest witnesses to assist in your car accident case usually share the following features:

  • Have a strong moral character. This means they should not have any criminal convictions, excessive motor vehicle violations, or misdemeanors on their record.
  • The witnesses are not related to you. Your friend or family member may have been on the scene, but there is a belief that they will be biased toward you.
  • Are mentally and physically healthy. If your eyewitness has a history of mental or physical health issues, they may not be deemed as credible as someone who has not. Moreover, you have seen enough legal dramas to know that a witness with poor eyesight or hearing problems will not fare very well against an aggressive insurance adjuster or lawyer.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs. If your witness has a history of substance abuse or was under the influence during the accident, they will be less than credible.

In addition, it is critical that your witness had an unobstructed view of the accident. If the other party can argue that they were too far away to see what happened or other cars between them and the accident site, they will not be considered credible. 

In most accident cases, you have to take witnesses’ contact details. However, your attorney will be the one selecting the best ones and deposing them. Let a Georgia car accident lawyer review your case and deal with witnesses, paperwork, investigation, accident reconstruction, and expert testimonies to strengthen your winning chances. You will most likely find a law firm specializing in motor vehicle crashes that offers free consultations no matter your state. The other party’s witness intimidation or discrediting schemes will not work when you have attorneys by your side.

What Factors Make a Witness Less Than Credible

There are some factors, however, that will absolutely render your witnesses not credible and destroy your case. 

  • Witnesses who were not present for the entire accident or didn’t see the whole thing. If they show up after the accident has already happened, they aren’t considered credible witnesses. 
  • Distracted witnesses. If your passengers were distracted at the time of the accident because they were talking on a cell phone or engaged in conversation with friends, the opposing party would most likely discredit them. 
  • Witnesses who don’t tell the same story each time. If their stories are inconsistent, they will not be considered credible.
  • Witnesses who have a vested interest in the outcome of the case. If a witness might receive a huge payout if you win the case, they will not stand the pressure of cross-examination.
  • Witnesses who are not in a mental state to testify on your behalf. In this category, you can include children, some elderly, and those who are mentally incapable of testifying.

A witness who is not credible can severely hurt your case. So before you sign up a witness to testify on your behalf, it helps to thoroughly vet them to ensure that their testimony will help you to get the outcome you seek. Your lawyer and their investigators will see to that. 

Starting Your Car Accident Case

Insurance companies will protect their interests at all costs and will do their best to reduce their liability in the case. Unfortunately, this means that they will attack your witness’ credibility if it helps them win. If you have been injured in an accident, you can take your chances by working alone with the insurance companies, but you may not get a fair settlement. 

It is a huge challenge to try to recover and deal with all of the stress of the case. For this reason, finding a law firm in your city is the best way to deal with the situation.

When you hire a personal injury or car accident attorney, you will get the representation you need to get the compensation you deserve. A law firm will review your case and talk to your witnesses, ensuring that they have what it takes to assist you. In addition, they will initiate settlement negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf so that you can focus on recovery. 

About the author:
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Early in her journalism career, Cheryl Roy had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, she decided to change how the law is perceived by the public.


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