A well-written, carefully constructed witness statement can provide robust evidence to a personal injury attorney creating a strong case for a car accident victim to recover maximum compensation after an automobile crash. Sometimes, eyewitness testimony can take the mystery out of who is liable in a car accident. An Oklahoma car accident injury attorney can present this statement to the insurance company, and it can encourage them to reach a fair settlement rather than having the additional headache of going to court to recover compensatory damages.
Understanding how to create an in-depth witness statement for a car accident is crucial for it to be effective.
Car Accident Witness Statements and Why They Are Critical to Your Case
Personal injury cases, such as a car accident, can lead everyone involved to investigate the issue so that they are not out of any money. The alleged at-fault party’s insurance company does not want to write a big check, so they will investigate the case and gather any evidence that points to their client’s innocence. Witness statements following a car wreck are unbiased, shedding light on what actually happened at the accident.
If you have questions about witness statements and how they can help or hurt your case, or if you were a witness and are concerned about making one, it is advisable to speak to a car accident injury lawyer in Oklahoma.
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Detailed and Unbiased Reporting
By offering a witness statement to the police, insurance agencies, and attorneys, you can help them understand the accident’s details. Eyewitnesses will offer details that those involved in the accident may have missed. These details help flesh out exactly what happened.
Witness statements could lead to a better understanding of who is liable if any external factors contributed to the accident and to the extent of the damages sustained. Those involved in the accident may be in shock, mildly addled, or experiencing a rush of adrenaline. All of which could cause them to miss key details that could be critical to their case.
Witnesses are not experiencing such stress, so they may notice details that slipped by those involved. These details may offer insight into the causes of the auto accident.
Witness Statements Carry a Weighty Impact on the Decision
When there are questions as to the responsibility for an accident, a witness statement may offer much-needed clarity. There are times when both parties share fault, or one party is clearly liable. Witnesses recounting the events surrounding the accident can make things clear.
Oklahoma works under a comparative fault law, so if a victim of a car accident is up to 49% responsible for the accident, they can ask for damages. Any more than that, and they are ineligible. Depending on the degree of responsibility, the amount they can settle for in damages can be greatly reduced. This is why witness statements carry a lot of weight.
The court can utilize the statement given by the witness to determine the percentage of fault so that a fair settlement can be provided.
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Key Information to Include When Writing a Car Accident Witness Statement
If you happen to witness an automobile accident, you should stop to make sure the people involved are getting the help they need. Call 911 and inform them so the help they need will arrive shortly. In serious accidents, it could be of great value to offer a witness statement about the accident.
Listed below are some key points to include when writing your witness statement:
- Provide your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
- Describe the event in detail. Be sure to include what was happening before the accident, while the accident was happening, and the events that followed.
- Summarize the damage to any vehicles that were involved in the accident.
- Detail the injuries you noticed participants suffering.
- Describe the weather conditions at the time of the accident.
- If the road conditions could have factored into the accident, include those details as well. Things like icy conditions, large potholes, heavy fog, or obstacles in the road should all be included.
- Include where you were when the accident happened. Your position and point of view could offer more insight.
- Describe everyone involved.
- Be sure to sign and date the statement.
Avoid offering opinions in your statement. Stick to the facts. If anything out of the ordinary was happening, make sure to include that in your statement.
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Suggestions for Composing an Effective Statement
Be concise and honest, and refrain from voicing any bias. This is a legal document, and it can affect either party’s life in significant ways. Since it can be the deciding factor in the outcome of the case, offer only the facts, and let the court decide how these facts are used.
By refraining from editorializing, you are allowing the facts to speak for themselves. Permitting the court to take your accounting of events into consideration when determining liability.
Accuracy Is Crucial
Ensure that you are providing factual, accurate information and are not omitting anything. Refrain from offering opinions. Do not guess at what happened. Your statement must be based on what you actually saw.
Offer Your Witness Statement Promptly
Writing a witness statement needs to happen as soon as possible. Time erodes memories. By offering your memories up sooner, the incident will be more clear.
Do not discuss the events with other witnesses, as these can confuse or jade your own accounts, no matter how hard you resist this happening. Your witness statement should not be biased because of what others around you perceive.
Even if something seems to fit logically, if you are not 100% certain, refrain from the temptation of inventing things. Omitting the details where you are unclear is a much better practice.
Organized, Specific Details Make the Best Witness Accounts
When writing a witness statement, it can be any length. Just make sure you include all the details that you can remember. Include everything that you saw, heard, smelled, and felt. Things you may not consider important could be clues that help with the investigation.
Organize your thoughts and document the events as you remember them chronologically. An organized testimony will be more difficult for attorneys to dismantle in court. Unorganized witness statements may give way to questioning your credibility by the insurance companies and lawyers. Have someone proofread your statement to ensure it is properly organized.
Reach Out Today to Learn More
If you have questions about composing a car accident witness statement, the car accident injury BDIW Law can assist you. Contact us today if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and needs a compassionate, tenacious team on your side.
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