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How the Credibility of Witnesses Can Impact a Car Accident Case

Experienced Lawyer

In order to successfully be awarded compensation for damages in a car accident claim, you must build your case using as much tangible and reliable evidence as possible. After a car accident happens, many people who saw the crash unfold may rush over to help. These compassionate bystanders can become useful witnesses, as their statements can support your side of the story. But, witness credibility is a critical factor in whether this person can help or actually hinder your case.

Those who have been in a car accident recently, can turn to an attorney for guidance. It can be too stressful to defend yourself all alone, so please let us help you. We have your best in mind, and can protect you from insurance companies and other parties who want to prevent you from getting the compensation needed to overcome the incident.

Third Party Witness

A third party witness is a person who does not have a role in the lawsuit, and only saw the incident happen. These people are often unbiased, and had no prior connection to either driver. These witnesses can be hugely influential in helping figure out what happened and showing how the other driver caused the crash. An attorney can talk with a witness to determine whether they have credibility, before using their statement as evidence.

Factors that Determine Credibility

Not all witnesses are going to have a positive impact on your case. Factors that can determine credibility may include things like where they were in relation to the accident, if they were distracted, and at what point they saw the crash happen. To emphasize this point, we have explained further what qualities make a witness reliable, or not:

  • Criminal History: a witness that has a criminal history may display dishonest behavior, especially if they were charged with crimes like theft, fraud, larceny or other serious felony offenses.

  • Mental/Physical Limitations: it is possible that a witness has physical or mental limitations which can interfere with his or her capacity to observe and report an incident with accuracy. A witness that has hearing, eyesight or cognitive challenges may not recall an accident the way others had.

  • Consistency of Testimony: a witness who is telling a truthful story is going to have the same things to say each time they are asked. A witness that has different versions of the same event, is not likely to be credible.

Witness Discrepancies

If two witnesses saw an accident happen but have major differences in their story, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are being untruthful. People with good intentions may be honest but experienced the accident in contrasting ways. A person’s vantage point, characteristics, and history can have an impact on how he or she interprets an event. Ultimately, your attorney can help you decide which witnesses can be credible, and which probably aren’t.

If you were in an accident and want to know more about witness statements, please contact a law office to book an appointment with an auto accident lawyer Memphis, TN offers. Do not wait, ask for legal assistance now.

 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into personal injury cases and the impact of witnesses for a car accident case.


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