Besides seeking medical attention, one of the very first things you should do if you have been injured in a car accident in Flint, Michigan is get all witnesses’ contact information. In order to receive compensation after a car accident, you must show substantial proof that the accident took place. Many times there is no better form of proof than credible witness testimony.
This testimony, coupled with a police report on the accident and photos of the scene of the accident will prove beyond reasonable doubt that the other party was at fault and you should receive compensation.
In this blog, we explain why having a credible witness is so important in a car accident claim as well as some key things to be aware of for testifying witnesses.
Having a car accident witness statement in your case will undoubtedly support your claim, but it’s important to keep in mind that you need a credible witness. A jury will almost always see any kind of testimony as biased because their word may skew the outcome in your favor. Because of this, it is imperative that you choose a witness that satisfies all the criteria of credibility which are as follows:
- Witness has no prior criminal record
- Witness has a good memory
- Witness is not easily confused
- Witness has near-perfect eyesight and does not regularly wear prescription eyeglasses
- Witness does not drink or use drugs
- Witness does not take prescription medications which may alter their perception
- Witness has a good work history
- Witness is an upstanding member of their community
- Witness has no stake in the outcome of the suit
While there is no strict rule that says family members or close friends of the claimant cannot be used as witnesses, it is certainly true that it would harm their credibility. We recommend using a witness that has no personal stake or connection to the life of the claimant.
One of the first things a car accident attorney will do when deciding on a potential witness is to determine whether or not they were driving a vehicle. If a witness was operating a vehicle at the time of the accident, their attention may have been focused on driving or avoiding the accident themselves. Thus, their car accident witness credibility might be affected. Another thing an attorney will ask the witness is how far away from the accident they were. A witness who was a greater distance away from the wreck is more likely to have focused attention on the details of the accident. Whereas a witness who was closer to the scene of the accident will be more likely to fear for their own safety and misremember crucial details.
If You Are a Credible Witness
If you are a witness in someone else’s car accident case in Flint, you have a car accident witness responsibility. Keep in mind that perjury (or lying under oath) can result in felony charges and a conviction may land you with a 15-year jail sentence in the state of Michigan. Never overstate what you observed or misrepresent what happened as you saw it. Always provide as honest an account of the accident as possible.
If you were involved in the accident in any way, err on the side of caution and stick around until the police show up. Charges for leaving the scene of an accident can range from a misdemeanor up to a felony charge with a 15-year sentence.
Here at Lee Steinberg Law, our Flint personal injury lawyers treat our clients like family and we are always available to discuss the details of your case and situation. We work aggressively to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve from the insurance company. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to find out how we can help.