Witness Testimony Can Strengthen Your Car Accident Claim
Ragain & Clark November 1, 2019
As many Montana police officers who investigate auto accidents can attest, clear heads at an accident scene are often few and far between. The suddenness of the crash, the quick rush of adrenaline, the concern about one’s own injury status or the status of a loved one can turn the entire matter into a mere blur. That’s why auto accident experts stress that the testimony of one or more witnesses can be important to the successful resolution of any car accident claim. It is also important to retain the right Billings car accident attorney.
Witness Testimony Can Prove What Actually Happened
Even in instances in which the police officer has crafted a thorough accident report, his or her few pages of quickly-drawn diagrams and terse comments can rarely tell the story of what actually happened. That’s where live witnesses who were on the scene can prove invaluable. Yet time is often of the essence. While it is important to seek medical aid for anyone hurt in the accident, the preservation of witness accounts can be equally important in establishing an accident claim. Memories fade with time. Taking down not only the contact information about witnesses, but also sketching out what, if anything, they say at the scene can go a long way toward a successful resolution of a claim. What’s more, an experienced Billings car accident attorney will tell you that it isn’t just the drivers whose testimony is needed. Anyone else who was in a position to view the unfolding of the crash should be consulted as well. Those others include:
- Not only the occupants in your vehicle, but any passengers in the other car (or cars) that may have been involved. If the other driver was distracted or speeding, he or she may not admit it at the scene. Other witnesses may give a better picture of the moments that preceded the crash.
- Any other driver who stops to render assistance at the scene.
- Pedestrians or others who were nearby at the time of the crash
- Workers or customers in nearby businesses — including road construction workers, if any — who may have witnessed what happened at the time of the auto accident.
Witnesses Can Be Important Even if There is No Actual Trial
A skilled Billings car accident attorney will tell you that an effective witness can be important to a successful resolution of an auto accident claim even if the matter never goes to trial. Indeed, while it is certainly true that most accident claims are settled without actually going to court, the level of settlement depends upon the strength of one’s case. Having one or more live witnesses, who were interviewed either at the accident scene or shortly thereafter, and whose recollections are, therefore, preserved can be invaluable.
Remember this: the claims representative for the opposing driver’s insurance company needs to be able to justify to his or her boss why your claim should be settled at the level you are demanding. If your claim is buttressed by solid, credible witnesses, you stand a much better chance of a positive settlement outcome.
Get Experienced, Caring Legal Counsel From a Billings Car Accident Attorney
Have you or a loved one been involved in an auto accident? Are you concerned that the opposing insurance company won’t give you a fair shake? Many Montana accident victims will warn you against proceeding alone. The stakes are high. Your time to act is limited. You owe it to yourself to get the assistance of an experienced Billings car accident attorney at Ragain & Clark, PC. Contact our office today.