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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Why Witness Statements Are Important in Car Accident Cases

September 2, 2020

If you are pursuing an injury claim arising from a car accident, you will be expected to prove your case. This is often more challenging than many people assume. However, one of the strongest pieces of evidence in your case may be a detailed statement from a witness. If you don’t already have one, it may not be too late. Speak with a Billings car accident attorney about what you can do to build the best case possible.  

Car Accidents Can Be Catastrophic Events

Many car accident victims report that they never saw the accident coming. As a result, it can be difficult to recall important facts from either driver’s perspective — facts that will determine who is at fault for your injuries. In addition, there can be a significant difference between what actually happened and what people remember. Such memories can be biased toward what they want to remember. 

Witnesses can provide valuable information for determining precisely what happened in a car accident. Their statements can confirm important facts or provide missing details. In other situations, they can provide an independent perspective when the parties are at odds over what happened leading up to the accident. 

Witnesses are Considered Independent and Unbiased

One of the reasons witness statements are so important is that they are often considered to present an unbiased and independent version of the events surrounding the accident. Typically, witnesses have no stake in the outcome as they usually weren’t involved or injured. As a result, insurance companies, judges, and juries tend to accept witness statements as a reliable recitation of what happened. 

Detailing What They Saw in Their Own Words

Witness statements can be incredibly powerful when they are in their own words. As a result, you should always attempt to get them to memorialize their statement in some way – either by making a written statement or recording an oral statement. You don’t want to put words in their mouth, so try to avoid taking notes based on their recitation of what happened. Almost all smartphones allow you to easily record a voice memo. 

Not only will the recorded statement be more compelling, but it will also help preserve the facts. Memories fade over time and people begin to change their statements. Having a recorded statement prevents inconsistencies from developing between a witnesses’ original statement and what they are able to recall later. 

Ultimately, you want the witness to provide as much detail as possible about what they recall. For this reason, it’s important to get their statement soon after the accident. If you’re injured and unable to get their statement, a Billings car accident attorney can get the statement for you and will know which details the statement needs to include. 

Contact Billings Car Accident Attorney Jim Ragain Today

A strong witness statement can pay tremendous dividends in your case, and an experienced Billings car accident attorney will know how to use it to your benefit. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need help, contact Ragain & Clark at 406-651-8888 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and what we can do for you.