After a car accident, one of the first things the police will do after ensuring that the scene is safe and everyone involved has been offered medical attention is to take statements from those who witnessed the accident. If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit against the person at fault, these witnesses will be needed to testify for you. Before involving the witnesses, however, you need to make sure that they are credible. The following are three qualities that should be considered when choosing your witnesses:
Vantage Point of the Witness
One way to ensure you have a credible witness is how well their vantage point was when they saw the accident. It is important to find out how much of the accident they actually saw. Did they see what happened leading up to the accident as well as the aftermath, or did they just see the collision? Was the witness a pedestrian or driving another vehicle at the time they saw the accident? These are important questions to think about when considering the credibility of a witness.
The character of a person can offer provide a great deal of insight with regard to his or her credibility. Those with poor character are often found to be untrustworthy and therefore not a great candidate for a witness. Character can be determined in a number of ways. Has he or she been convicted of a crime due to dishonesty, such as writing bad checks or lying on tax forms? Does he or she believe they have something to gain from being a witness in your case, like being purposely dishonest about what happened because they have a relationship with those involved? These qualities can have a major impact on how credible witnesses are.
You also need to think about the physical condition of the witness when they saw your accident. It is crucial that they actually saw what they claimed to have seen. Is their eyesight in good condition? Can they hear well? Were they under the influence of anything that could have prohibited them from making a judgment based on what they saw at the time of the accident?
Witnesses can often play a major role in the outcome of a car accident lawsuit. It is crucial that your attorney vet your witnesses very carefully to ensure they will be beneficial to you. Be sure you tell your attorney about any information you may have on witnesses, particularly if you know them personally to ensure they are a good fit for the case.
For more information, contact a law firm like Law Offices of Burton J. Hass.