The first people that you think of right after a car accident may not be the other people that saw the crash happen. However, once you have determined whether anyone was badly injured and after you have called for medical help, then it is important to find out if anyone else saw the accident happen.
How an Eyewitness Could Help You
Someone who saw the crash occur could provide valuable information. An eyewitness may:
- Identify other parties that were involved in the crash.
- Report what happened just prior to the accident.
- Report what happened at the time of the accident.
- Report what happened immediately after the accident.
- Help resolve conflicting stories between drivers involved in the crash.
Of course, an eyewitness—like any type of witness—must be credible. Eyewitnesses may be credible because they are not personally involved in the crash, they have no relationship with anyone involved in the crash, and they have no financial stake in the outcome of the case.
However, there are situations when an eyewitness may not be credible. For example, an eyewitness may not be credible if the witness is a young child, if the witness was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, or if the witness has an impairment that could have interfered with seeing or understanding what happened in the crash. Additionally, a witness’s credibility may be attacked if the witness was distracted at the time of the accident or if the witness is a convicted felon.
Get the Information You Need From Eyewitnesses at the Scene of the Crash
It may be difficult to track down all of the witnesses later. Accordingly, if anyone witnessed the accident, then it is important to get his or her full name, address, telephone number(s), and email address before you leave the scene of the crash. This will allow you or your car accident lawyer can contact the witness at a later time.