Half the country has less than $600 in savings.
As a result, car accidents can quickly become a financial disaster. You can’t always depend on the insurance company to do the right thing. Oftentimes, a lack of car accident evidence means that you’re left with the responsibility of paying for the consequences of a crash, all by yourself.
However, if you can secure a car accident witness, your chances of getting the compensation you need after an accident go way up. To help you out, we’ve created this short car accident guide. In this article, we’ll show you how to talk to witnesses, allowing you to get the information you need to win.
Read on to learn how to talk to car crash witnesses, the right way.
Calmly Introduce Yourself
After getting to safety, and calling the police to the accident scene, scan the area for anyone who may have seen the crash. Before you approach a potential witness, take a moment to collect your thoughts. Car accidents are jolting and the last thing you want to do is scare away a potential witness because of your demeanor.
Instead, take a few deep breaths, and prepare to introduce yourself. When you introduce yourself, make eye contact, speak calmly, and give the potential witness your name.
For instance, try saying, “Hello, my name is __ and I wanted to know if you saw anything from the crash that just took place?”. If the person confirms that they did see part of the crash, continue by getting their contact information.
Witness Contact Information
When asking for the contact information, let them know why you’re asking. You could say: “I was involved in the accident. May I please have your name and number so I can give your information to my attorney as a witness?”.
After you get their contact information, you can go back to waiting for the police. Next, click here to find an experienced car accident lawyer that you can give the witness’s information to. Experienced attorneys are pros at questioning witnesses, so it’s best to let them do the heavy lifting.
However, if you feel comfortable proceeding, we’ll show you a few more questions you can ask at the accident scene before police arrive.
Will You Talk to the Police Please?
Moving on, it’s best if the witness is willing to talk to the police. Remember that everyone has places to be and things to do.
The car accident witness doesn’t have a legal obligation to stay and talk to the police. However, if you’re kind and calm when speaking to them, you may be able to persuade them to stay.
Earlier we mentioned that you should introduce yourself to the witness. If the witness seems hesitant to talk to the police, personalize yourself even more by calmly stating how much their testimony would help.
For instance, you could say, “I’m sure you’re busy, but the police are already on their way. If you would be so kind as to give them a quick account of what you saw, my family and I’d be very grateful. Any information you can give about what you saw would be a major help.”.
After requesting for them to stay and talk to the police, let them decide what they want to do next. Don’t try pleading with witnesses, or pressuring them in any way. Instead, be patient, and hope that they do the right thing by talking to the police. If they aren’t willing to talk to the police, you can still give their contact information to you attorney.
Next, let’s talk about staying neutral, no matter what the car accident witness thinks they saw. Whether you’re in a no-fault accident or an at-fault accident, you should never try to change the information the witness is providing. Don’t argue with a witness if they say they think you’re at fault for the accident.
Remember, they’re not legal professionals, and they’re probably not insurance adjusters either. It’s up to the professionals to decide who’s at fault. All you need from the witness is the car accident details, not their judgment of liability.
Car Accident Details
Lastly, let’s review the car accident details to get from a witness. Remember, your best car accident attorney can get these details for you as long as you have the witness’s contact information. However, if you feel comfortable, and the witness is willing, it doesn’t hurt for you to get a voice recording of what they saw.
If they say they don’t want to be recorded, don’t argue. However, don’t ask permission either, since people are prone to automatically saying no.
Instead, turn on your phone’s voice recorder, and record yourself letting the witness know you’re recording. Simply say, “I’m a little shook up from the accident. I don’t want to forget any details you tell me. I’m doing a voice recording now so I can give your testimony to my attorney.”.
Next, ask the car accident witness what they were doing right before the accident. Then ask what they saw take place, using as much detail as possible. Remember, to say please, and be patient and calm as the witness gives their testimony.
Did they notice anything about the other driver before the impact? Could you please tell me where you were standing when the crash took place? Do you have any further details you can give about the incident?
No matter what the witness says, thank them sincerely for their time. You want the witness to feel comfortable working with you, otherwise, they’re not likely to work with your lawyer later on.
Lastly, introduce yourself again (it helps make you more personable), and thank the witness again. Now you can give their testimony to your lawyer, and you can focus on recovering physically and mentally from the crash.
Win Your Case With a Car Accident Witness
There you have it! The best questions to ask a car accident witness. Remember, you don’t have to get a bunch of details at the accident scene. Instead, all you need is the witnesses’ names and numbers so your attorney can contact them.
It’s also vital that you call the police, no matter how minor the crash may seem. Having a police report, especially with the witness’s testimony, will help immensely.
Are you ready for more helpful tips like the ones in this article? Then go ahead and explore the rest of this site.