Car accident witnesses that support your claim can help to strengthen your case and help you to get fair compensation for your injuries. Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers is an experienced car accident attorney that will interview witnesses to your car accident to hold the at-fault driver accountable. Contact our law firm today to have free consultation to share details about how your accident occurred.
While questions can be asked of witnesses at the scene of the car accident, it’s best to just get contact information for all people who witnessed the accident so that the right questions can be asked later on, away from the chaotic scene. This can be done through a simple phone call to a witness, whether from you, your attorney, or an insurance claims adjuster. An in-person meeting can also be arranged, if it’s convenient. In any event, the conversation should take place as soon as possible after the accident, while the incident is still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Establish the Witness’s Location During the Accident
First things first. Ask questions that establish how the witness came to view the accident itself — or an important aspect of the accident, even if it’s something that occurred after the fact, such as an injured party receiving medical care.
- When did the witness arrive on the scene?
- Where were they coming from and where were they headed when the accident happened?
- Where was the witness looking before, during, and after the accident?
- How far away was the witness from key events related to the accident as those events took place?
- Did the witness have a clear view of those events at all times?
Get the Facts About the Accident
When questioning a witness to a car accident, the goal is to get all of the witness’s firsthand knowledge and observations out in the open and recorded for later use.
Sometimes an open-ended prompt (“Can you walk me through what you saw?”) is better than specific questions, but you should be ready to ask follow up questions and fill in any gaps in the information you’re getting from the witness. Here are some areas to focus on:
- Set the scene by asking the witness to describe the location of the accident — identify streets and intersections, lanes, traffic signals, and the different directions in which vehicles were headed. If the interview is face-to-face, ask the witness to draw a diagram or map.
- Ask about the weather and how it affected road conditions (Did the sun cause a glare? Did fog hinder visibility?)
- Get details on the crash itself and the seconds leading up to it. What exactly did the witness see, hear, and feel? How were the vehicles positioned before, during, and after?
- Try to get accurate estimates as to distances to and from vehicles and intersections, vehicle speeds, and passage of time.
Avoid “He Said, She Said”
Questions that are asked of accident witnesses should be tailored so that the witness’s responses include only firsthand observations and personal impressions of what happened — not speculation as to what other drivers, passengers, and witnesses might have said or thought.
One reason for this is you’ll avoid running into problems later on if your witness’s statements are introduced in court. All state and federal courts have strict rules on admissibility of evidence, and often when one witness testifies about what someone else said, those overheard statements will be considered inadmissible hearsay” that can’t be used as evidence in the case.
Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!