personal injury witness

The Importance of Eyewitnesses in a Personal Injury Case

When facts of a case are in dispute, eyewitnesses often play a crucial role in the outcome of a claim. Eyewitnesses’ testimony serves as valuable evidence that clarifies who caused an accident, what actually caused the accident, and important details of the incident. When you suffer an injury, look for eyewitnesses right away so you can get their contact information for your personal injury claim.

Have you been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence? It’s time to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell our Chatom office at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697 to set up a consultation now.

The Sequence of Events

Eyewitnesses can help your attorney establish the sequence of events that happened prior to an accident. This is important in a variety of scenarios. Consider, for example, a dog bite. If the owner claims that you were taunting the dog or intentionally acting aggressively, they could be found not liable.

If the eyewitness confirms your story that you simply passed the dog on the street and told the owner that their dog was cute, that would put liability back in the dog owner’s court. The timeline of events is also important in car accidents. Consider a car accident in which both parties claim that they had a green light at the time of a T-bone crash. An eyewitness could clear that up in moments.

The Accident Scene

Eyewitnesses often have clear memories of the accident scene itself and how it may have contributed to the accident. Using the car accident example, imagine that the crash happened at a four-way stop. If the eyewitness was able to verify that the stop sign on their side was completely obscured by overgrown brush—a brush that was coincidentally cut down in the days after the crash—that could shift liability from a driver to the municipality charged with maintaining the roads.

The Victim’s Injuries

If a victim is injured in an accident, it’s often hard for them to give a clear account of what happened or what their injuries looked like immediately after the accident. It’s common for the mind to block out the moments after an accident to protect itself from trauma. Eyewitnesses are more likely to have accurate memories of a victim’s injuries and how the victim responded to them. As an added benefit, these memories can provide a human element to the accident and create a strong emotional reaction.

Imagine someone in a car accident who suffered a severe bone break. The other side may think that they are overdramatizing their pain and fear, but they aren’t likely to think the same of an eyewitness who nearly passed out when they saw the leg bone sticking out of the skin.

How Both Parties Acted During and After the Incident

This is crucial in many personal injury claims. What people do immediately after an accident can say a lot about their character and their role in the incident? If a car accident happens and the eyewitness remembers the at-fault driver being aggressive and belligerent with the injured driver, that may support the victim’s claim that the driver was acting recklessly, intentionally frightening them, and acting with malice.

If a driver causes a crash and acts unconcerned, laughs at the situation, or mocks the victim, that also says a lot about their character and the likelihood that they were in fact driving recklessly at the time of the crash. Remember that accidents don’t happen in a vacuum; if someone causes an accident swerving in and out of traffic, they probably passed a dozen cars and annoyed a dozen drivers before actually hitting you. All of those drivers are potential eyewitnesses that could help your claim.

Remember that memories don’t last forever. It’s important to connect with eyewitnesses at the scene of an accident, rather than try to track them down later.

Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell

If you’re ready to pursue the compensation you’re owed after an accident, it’s time to talk to the team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell. We’re ready to learn more about your accident and help you fight for what you deserve. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697 or by filling out our online contact form.

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