When do Car Accident Witnesses Have Good Credibility?
When crash victims file claims for compensation, it is often their word against the word of the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. That is why objective evidence can be so important, such as an eyewitness account of the accident.
However, the witness needs to be credible ”“ you can bet the insurance company will immediately look for some way to attack the witness’ credibility.
Below, learn more about the importance of witness credibility when filing a car accident claim, including things that make witnesses credible. If you have questions about using a witness’ testimony to help bolster your claim, give Phillips Law Group a call.
Our auto accident lawyers in Phoenix have helped many crash victims seek compensation and have used witness accounts to help our clients. An initial consultation to see how we may be able to assist you is free of charge.
Importance of Credibility
There is no reason for an insurance company or jury to take a witness seriously if he or she lacks credibility. For example, if the witness has a documented history of lying to the police or insurance companies, you cannot rely on this person to tell the truth on your behalf.
It can also be difficult to take a witness seriously if he or she has a criminal record, even though those criminal charges likely have nothing to do with the accident in question.
Credibility is also determined by the relationship of the witness to the accident victim. No matter how upstanding someone may be, it is hard to believe any victim’s relative would be able to provide an objective account of the crash. Juries and insurance companies are likely to say this person is only saying things favorable to your case because family members often feel an obligation to help each other.
Credibility is also impacted by the witness’ view of the crash and his or her actions while it was going on. For example, the witness may have been moving out of the way as the crash was happening. This raises questions about how much the witness was able to see while moving his or her vehicle to a safer location.
Other Factors Impacting Credibility
There are a variety of other factors that may impact the credibility of a car accident witness:
- Hostility from the witness
- Activities the witness was engaged in before the crash
- Plausibility of the witness’ account of the accident
- Inconsistency in the witness’ statements
- Visual impairment
- The witness’ vantage point during the crash
- How long the witness saw the vehicles before and during the crash
- Whether the witness saw the entire crash or only turned to look after hearing the collision
- Whether the witness has been convicted of a felony
- Whether the witness is a friend of the victim
- Whether the witness gets easily confused, such as if he or she is elderly
- Whether the witness had been drinking or was under the influence of drugs
- Whether the witness has impaired hearing
- Whether the witness was distracted by something
These are all things your lawyer may investigate when considering the testimony of a witness to the crash. While a credible witness can provide testimony that may strengthen a claim, a witness who lacks credibility could do considerable damage to a claim. That is one of the reasons witness credibility is so important.
If there are multiple witnesses, your lawyer needs to determine if their accounts of the crash line up. Differing testimony does not necessarily indicate someone is lying. People often have different vantage points and certain aspects of the crash may stand out to them compared to others.
It is important to discuss witness testimony with your lawyer. He or she can help determine if it may help your claim. Make sure to tell your attorney if you are suspicious of anything the witnesses have said. Sometimes you may get a sense someone lacks credibility, and your lawyer can determine if this is reasonable.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Car crash claims can become complicated, especially because the insurance company is working against your best interests. You need an experienced advocate at your side helping to build a strong case and negotiating the insurance company to make a fair offer.
Phillips Law Group is here to assist you after a car crash that was not your fault. Our licensed attorneys have obtained millions in compensation on behalf of our clients, many of whom were victims of car crashes. There are no upfront fees or obligations with our services.
We have obtained millions for our clients. Call: 1-800-706-3000
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