What Should I Ask Car Accident Witnesses?
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident that caused property damage or injuries, you should be able to recover compensation. However, a successful personal injury claim after a vehicle accident revolves around gathering evidence. One key piece of evidence could be eyewitness statements. Here, we want to discuss what questions you need to ask eyewitnesses after an incident to help bolster the strength of your car accident claim.
What is your contact information?
It is critical that you get the name and contact information of the eyewitnesses. If these individuals leave the scene without you gathering their contact information, it is very unlikely that you will ever see them again, and they will not be able to help your case.
Will you describe the incident in your own words?
When you ask an eyewitness to describe the crash in their own words, this gives them a chance to craft their own narrative of events. They may talk about things that you would not otherwise think to ask. As we go down this list of questions, it is very likely that they will answer some of the questions if you simply ask them to describe the incident in their own words.
How do you think the accident occurred?
Ask the eyewitness how they think the crash occurred, at least from their perspective. It is certainly possible that an eyewitness did not see all of the incident, but if you get statements from multiple eyewitnesses, it may begin to piece together a story of what actually happened.
Can you give a detailed account of how the incident happened?
Ask for details. You can perhaps ask the eyewitness about what lane the vehicles were in, the stretch of roadway where the accident happened, whether or not they saw vehicles traveling too fast for conditions, whether a vehicle applied their brakes or if they heard skidding, as well as the actions of other drivers after the accident.
Where were you located when the accident occurred?
Make sure to ask the eyewitness where they were located when the incident occurred. Ask if they were in a parking lot, in another vehicle, on a sidewalk, etc. You should also ask how far away they were from the actual crash.
Was anyone with you when you saw the incident?
Ask the eyewitness if there was anyone with them when the incident occurred. If there was, this may increase the number of eyewitnesses you have to back up your claim. You can try to get the names and contact information of any other eyewitnesses so they can also give their statements to insurance carriers or your car accident attorney.
What did you do after the accident occurred?
Ask the eyewitness what they did after the accident occurred. It is not uncommon for witnesses to render assistance, and they may have heard other drivers or passengers involved in the accident make statements that could be beneficial to your car accident case.
Did you see any other individuals in the area?
You can ask an eyewitness whether or not they saw other individuals in the area. You can also ask if they saw anyone flee the scene when the accident occurred. Often, those involved in an accident do not see these initial details because they are focused on injuries and getting themselves to safety.
What were the traffic and weather conditions like?
Ask an eyewitness what the traffic and weather conditions were like when the incident occurred. Was there heavy traffic? Was it drizzling, or was there a downpour? Was the sun shining brightly enough to cause a glare? These are all things that may be pertinent to the case.