Accidents do happen from time to time. While some may be severe, others may be just fender benders. Whichever the case, accidents can cause losses. There are usually car repairs to be done, settlements for personal injury, and of course, medical bills. Whether you are dealing with a personal injury case or claiming insurance for the car accident, you will need a witness statement.
You are often advised to ask your witness to record a statement as soon as possible. This is to ensure that an insurance adjuster does not distort the information, and your witness does not forget how the accident happened. To help you with writing an effective statement, here are the questions that you need to ask.
- Where the witness was at the time of the accident
Your West Palm Beach car accident lawyer might find this information useful as much as the witness will explain what he or she was doing. In the process, you might get possible leads. Maybe someone more aware of what was happening or someone who was watching for a while.
- Ask the witness to describe the accident
When most accidents happen, the drivers are rarely aware of what has just happened. This, however, does not mean that someone else has not seen it. The best question to ask at this point would be, what was the accident like? With this question, you will be giving the witness the freedom to elaborate on everything he or she saw.
Also, it is essential to note that the witness may not have seen everything from when it all started to the end. They were probably doing their things or walking. But this does not mean the little or patchy information they provide is not useful. By combining the information they give you with what you have is what will help you complete the puzzle.
Also, do not interrupt when they are describing the accident; instead, be very attentive and record every detail. At the end of the statement, you can seek clarity on areas that are not so clear.
- What was the condition of the driver in the car?
If you got into an accident with another driver, do not shy away from asking the witness how the driver was. If the driver was intoxicated, then this might mean he will take the liability. The other information worth finding out is whether or not the driver was violating any road usage rules. You can talk to your car accident lawyer to teach you a thing or two about laws linked to road usage. If the driver was over speeding, then you might want to jot it down and if the witness can estimate the speed, even better. This information will be very useful when you are seeking for settlement.
Every piece of information you get from a witness is essential. Take your time when getting a statement from a witness, and pay attention to every detail.