If you’re making a personal injury claim, witnesses to the injury-causing accident can be of tremendous value. A good witness can support your side of the story and may even provide the critical information needed to prove the defendant’s fault. Even if a witness did not actually see the accident occur, he or she may have seen the immediate aftermath and may be able to confirm that you appeared to be injured. Witness testimony is exceptionally valuable as evidence because a typical witness to an accident has no reason to lie, and judges and juries understand this.
With potential witnesses, timing is very important. If they’re not contacted in the accident’s immediate aftermath to provide the information you need, that information may be forgotten, especially the critical little details, and will be less reliable in any event. Memories fade quickly, and details in particular start to fade immediately. Furthermore, a witness may no longer be available if you wait too long.
If you have suffered injuries caused by an accident, the Florida injury lawyers at Searcy Denney can help. We work with witnesses regularly and understand how to help them help you.
Tips for Handling Potential Witnesses
You can’t expect a witness to come forward and proactively provide you with the information you need on their own. A few helpful tips for handling witnesses include:
Finding Your Witnesses
You have to find your witnesses before you can use them. You or a friend/family member should approach any witnesses at the accident scene and request their contact information. You can also find witnesses by returning to the site of the injury and checking with local establishments.
Using Your Witnesses
When you’ve found a witness, ask them to make a statement as quickly as possible. If a witness is willing to talk, ask them to tell you what they saw. Make quick notes of these conversations or record them on your phone so that you have a record of your interaction with them. When you have a record of the witness’s statements, the Florida injury lawyers at Searcy Denney can use that record to determine what information is important and what information may be damaging.
Witnesses Who Aren’t Friendly
Potential witnesses may say they don’t want to get involved. Nonetheless, if you are tactful, you may be able to change their minds by reminding them that they’ll also likely be in your situation at some point in their lives and that you hope someone will be there to help them. If a witness still doesn’t agree to make a statement or testify in court, you still may be able to compel their testimony, although this part is best left to your lawyer.
Preparing Your Witnesses
Once you’ve identified your witnesses and scheduled them to testify, there are things you can do to help them prepare. Again, these techniques are best left to the experienced Florida injury lawyers at Searcy Denney.
Skilled Florida Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Witnesses if You’ve Been Injured In an Accident
If you have been injured in an accident and have identified witnesses who may be able to help your case, contact the Florida injury lawyers at Searcy Denney. Witness testimony may be the most important evidence you can produce. We are experienced with handling witnesses and can either convince them or compel them to testify. We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis.