Every day in the U.S., 90 people die in automobile crashes and another 6,400 people are injured, some so severely their lives will never be the same. If you were involved in an auto accident, you know how traumatizing it is. Depending on the severity of the crash, your life will be disrupted for a few hours, a few weeks, a few months or for the rest of your years. Even though the crash is sudden and the resulting trauma may disrupt your thinking, you need to plan ahead to get witness statements if you can.
If you are too severely injured to get witness’ statements at the scene of the accident, your Charlotte car accident attorney can get copies of the police report and hopefully find the names and contact numbers of witnesses. Anyone who witnessed the accident should be interviewed and their statements preserved. They can be called as witnesses at trial if necessary in order to provide evidence to support your case.
Witness Statements Can Provide Evidence of Fault
Under North Carolina law, the person at fault for the accident is the one who pays for the damages. However, if the injured person contributed to the accident in the slightest way, that person has no right to compensation. Witness statements can provide:
- Information about the position of each vehicle just before and just after the accident.
- The approximate speed of each vehicle.
- The direction the vehicles were traveling.
- Whether drivers or passengers made any comments after the accident and, if so, what did they say.
Witness Statements Can Provide Evidence of Injury Claims
Witnesses can provide evidence of the activities of each person who claims to have been injured. If the injured says he or she was crumpled on the ground after the accident, and a witness says the person was up and walking around, there will be a credibility problem with the one seeking damages.
Assessing Witness Credibility
Witnesses who just happened to be in the area when the crash occurred are generally considered reliable. They have no stake in either winning or losing anything. If their statements are not in your favor and you believe they are not being truthful, your attorney may evaluate:
- Whether they have given inconsistent statements at different times when recounting the events.
- Whether the witness was in a position to see and hear what he or she claims to have seen and heard.
- Whether the witness has any reason to be untruthful.
If you were in a car accident, contact us at Campbell & Associates in Charlotte. We provide a free consultation where we will review the circumstances of your car accident and decide how to proceed.