How many people saw your crash? Now, how many of them stopped? If you’re lucky, then a fair amount of people will have pulled over to give their account of what happened and what exactly they saw. Unfortunately, not everyone pulls over, and some may have just informed authorities by alerting 911. What happens in those situations is that you’ve missed a witness, and a witness can be a very impactful thing if your case hits a rough spot.
It happens all the time. People will have two different versions of events, and then the insurance companies will eventually have to pick a side. But a lot of the time, it turns out to be a “their word v. your word” situation. Witnesses in this situation can ease the tension on trying to prove your point by giving an unbiased account of what they saw. Additionally, you should contact our Ohio car accident attorneys.
Who Counts as a Witness?
Anyone who saw the crash happen, whether they were another driver, passerby, pedestrian, or were working and saw the accident. They can all serve as witnesses, but not everyone wants to come forward, and you might not realize the wide array of witnesses available at first.
Witnesses can come forward immediately, or they can be found later by evaluating the scene and identifying possible witnesses. Often pedestrians and other drivers will remain at the scene ticket statements for a police report. However, it is likely that people working in the area who may have witnessed the crash would come forward later.
The frustrating thing with witnesses is that it can be difficult for the victims of a car accident to be aware of who the victims are and how to contact them.
How to Contact Witnesses
Contacting a witness can be strange and uncomfortable, and it’s likely that you shouldn’t be the one doing it even if you obtained a witness’s phone number or other contact information. At the scene, this is something that either your insurance provider or your car accident attorney should be doing for you. The risk is that if you contact the witness, their statement may come into question. The entities involved may suspect that you coached the witness or told them what needed to be said for the claim to go your way.
You’ll need to provide a subpoena for the witness to testify as part of a deposition if your case is going to trial. However, it may be reasonable that they can give a written statement or issue a formal statement by talking directly to the involved attorneys or insurance providers. The deposition is usually part of the “discovery” phase, and what that means is that the attorneys are gathering and exchanging evidence to build their cases.
Showcase Blame or Fault in a Wreck
Witnesses will typically serve to help validate fault in a crash. For example, if an accident involved excessive speeds, a witness may step in to say that they solid vehicle traveling at very high speeds moments before the accident. Or, a witness can validate that they saw a driver on their phone or yelling at a passenger to validate a distraction.
The witnesses that serve to validate or to disprove fault or claims of fault will often have to give a formal statement. They may need to receive a court summons or appear as part of a deposition. However, some witness statements may be pulled from police reports. When police talk to witness at a scene, they take a formal report, and that report can serve as part of your car accident claim.
Get an Ohio Car Accident Attorney on Your Case
Ohio car accidents are often serious in that Ohio sees its fair share of bad weather and negligent drivers. But if someone witnessed your car accident, then it is very likely that you could have a more objective statement issued as part of your crash resolution. This objective statement can help lay out exactly what happened because it can be difficult for the victim to understand how the crash took place as well. Additionally, these statements can help prove blame or determining fault.
If you’re worried about your crash resolution and want to get started right away, then contact an Ohio auto accident lawyer. It’s likely that you’ve experienced substantial damage as part of the accident, and contacting witnesses on your own or arranging to gather statements may be out of your scope. With proper legal help, you can ensure that you bring in every resource possible to help prove your claim.