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The Role of Witnesses in Car Accident Claims

car accident witness role

One of the most important aspects of filing a car accident claim is making sure you have enough evidence to prove who was at fault. You can use various forms of evidence, from police reports to medical reports, that indicate the injuries you sustained and treatments you received.

However, something many people don’t realize is that witness statements are also crucial in a car accident claim. Being able to get a few of these can strengthen your case and make it easier for you to get compensation.

The car accident witness role is important enough that personal injury lawyers always recommend that you take the time to gather the names and contact information of the people who were at the scene of your accident. Did you know, however, that these are not the only types of witnesses?

Learn more about witnesses in car accident claims and why they can be so important.

Types of Witnesses

After a car accident, you may have a number of witnesses who can substantiate your claims. They are generally divided into two groups: eyewitnesses and expert witnesses.

Witnesses offer an impartial account of what occurred. Insurers and juries both tend to give more weight to the statements from witnesses than they do to those from passengers or drivers because they have no vested interest in who wins the claim.

Your memory can be hazy after a traumatic experience like an accident, so witnesses help fill in those gaps created by what you may not remember or can’t recall clearly. This is crucial in cases when reconstructing the accident is necessary.


Eyewitnesses are people who were present at the scene of the accident and saw the events as they occurred. The accounts they offer could be crucial, offering a first-hand perspective on what led to the accident and how it unfolded. They can even aid in establishing the exact time the accident occurred.

Other people in the vehicle with you can be witnesses, and they can help to validate certain parts of your story. Keep in mind that their evidence will not be as powerful as that of impartial witnesses.

Something important that eyewitness testimony offers is that it brings the human element into the equation. Eyewitnesses will be able to offer information as to how the various parties behaved, what emotions were on display, and how each party reacted to the accident. All of this can have an impact on the claim.

Eyewitnesses can also bring in details that aid expert witnesses in reconstructing the accident.

In cases where it’s not easy to know who was at fault, eyewitness testimony carries significant weight throughout the legal proceedings.

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses have a high level of knowledge in fields that relate to car accidents. They can be experts in the fields of biomechanics, medicine, accident reconstruction, and more.

Healthcare providers are crucial if you’ve suffered injuries. They can provide evidence of the type of injuries you suffered, the severity, and the treatment specifics. If you require physical therapy because of the injury, physical therapists can also be excellent expert witnesses.

Mental health professionals are another type of expert witness. Many times, people involved in accidents struggle with trauma, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. A mental health professional can speak about the issues you’re dealing with as a result of the accident. This can be crucial for pain and suffering damages.

First responders can also be helpful. Lawyers often consult with paramedics and police officers who were at the scene. These witnesses can provide a clearer sense of the scene of the accident and the physical and mental state of each party involved.

Accident reconstruction experts are some of the most crucial. If there are any disputes about who was at fault, they can take all of the details available, including eyewitness testimony, and use them to recreate the accident.

Another type of expert witness is a financial advisor. These experts can help lawyers calculate economic and non-economic losses. They help account for loss of future income, inflation, and much more.

Witness Strategies

At the scene of the accident, you want to reach out to the people who were in the area when the collision occurred. If you’re well enough to do so, you want to ask for their contact information and perhaps a brief statement. Many times, it’s better to ask questions from the witnesses later on, away from the scene of the accident.

Often, people are still in shock after seeing an accident, so they may not be able to offer answers to questions you may have about what they saw. Instead, you should collect their phone numbers and let them know that you or your lawyer will be calling them with questions.

It is often better to ask an open-ended question like “What do you remember about the accident?” than specific questions. Your lawyer will need to know how far away the witness was from the accident to be able to rely on the testimony. The weather conditions can also be an important piece of evidence.

Locating Witnesses

If you need to locate a witness weeks after the accident occurred, you may have a challenge on your hands. Even if you have their full name and contact information, you may not be able to get in touch with them.

If you weren’t able to get contact information or you worry that you weren’t able to speak with enough people at the site of the accident, something you can do is look through the collision’s police report. The report will list all witnesses that the police identified, along with their contact information.

Many times, speaking with one witness could lead to another. They may have been with friends when they saw the accident take place, or they might have noticed their neighbors or coworkers were also witnesses. This could help you get further testimonies.

If you’re still struggling to get a hold of a witness, the best thing you can do is rely on a personal injury lawyer. Attorneys have many tools at their disposal that can help them find witnesses more easily. If a witness doesn’t want to cooperate, they can also use subpoenas to get the necessary statements.

Gerber Injury Law: Helping You Get the Compensation You Deserve

Suffering injuries and property damage because of someone else’s negligence is a very difficult thing to go through. You could be dealing with medical bills that you have no way of paying, as well as trauma that could require therapy. Additionally, your injuries could have forced you to miss work and lose wages.

You don’t have to go through this alone. When you turn to personal injury lawyers like those at Gerber Injury Law, you have the chance to get the help you deserve.

We have over 20 years of experience that we can put to work on your behalf. We are compassionate lawyers who understand what it means to be in pain and not know who to turn to. If you’ve been in a car accident, reach out to us as quickly as possible to get started.

Contact Gerber Injury Law or call us at 623-486-8300 right now to schedule your free consultation with our team.