The Most Important Questions You Should Ask Witnesses After an Accident

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After an accident, your first thought is likely not about how to best prepare yourself for potential legal action. However, the way you respond immediately after the accident can have a huge impact on your potential to collect compensation for injuries later on. After making sure your health is taken care of and calling the police, you should try to ask any witnesses at the accident scene a few important questions.

Witnesses at the SceneAn eyewitness can provide valuable evidence after an accident. Their statements to law enforcement officers or the insurance company might support your version of events or establish someone else is at fault for your injuries. Asking witnesses the right questions is essential to obtaining the information you need to strengthen your case. You must phrase each question correctly and avoid saying something that might skew your statements in the other party’s favor. You also don’t want to appear to be leading the witness to make statements in your favor.

Here are the questions you should ask eyewitnesses at the scene of an accident.

Can You Explain What Happened in Your Own Words?

Asking an eyewitness to tell you how the accident occurred in their own words can eliminate confusion about the details. Instead of asking pointed questions to steer them toward a story that matches yours, the question prompts them to discuss what they recall. In this way, you can discover whether their account matches yours and establishes a narrative.

Where Were You at the Time of the Accident?

You should always ask where the witness was when the accident happened. Sometimes, witnesses are directly next to the scene. Other times, they’re standing hundreds of feet away or behind something obstructing their view. Asking where they were allows you to determine whether they clearly saw what happened.

What Did You Do in the Aftermath of the Accident?

You could gain insight into the eyewitness’s perceptions about the severity of the incident. Asking them what they did immediately afterward will indicate what they think occurred.

If they thought it was a severe accident that probably caused injuries, they might have called 911 and rushed over to assist the victims. However, if they stayed in one place to watch what occurred next, it likely means they thought it was a minor incident.

Did You Hear Anyone’s Conversations After the Accident?

Sometimes, eyewitnesses hear comments or conversations that can benefit the accident victim’s claim. Asking what they heard other people say immediately after the incident might provide helpful information. For example, a witness might have heard the other person involved in the accident saying it was their fault.

Was Someone With You at the Time of the Incident?

You should ask the witness if someone else was with them when the accident occurred. That can lead to additional eyewitnesses who can provide statements to the insurance company or police. They might also be able to testify in court if you file a lawsuit. When multiple witnesses tell the same story, denying liability is more challenging.

Do You Know Anyone Involved in the Accident?

This question is crucial because it determines whether bias contributes to the witness’s statements. They might lie or exaggerate their story if they know the victim. Someone without any connection to the parties to the accident is more likely to provide an honest account of the events.

Where Were You Going When You Noticed the Accident?

Witnesses at the Scene of an AccidentAsking the witness where they were going during the accident determines more than their direction of travel, whether walking or driving. It paints a picture of what they might have been doing when the incident occurred.

If a witness was rushing to work, worrying about being late might have distracted them from noticing the accident until after it had already happened. They might not have seen the events leading up to the incident or who might be responsible.

Can I Get Your Name and Phone Number?

Before leaving the accident scene, you must ask each witness for their name and contact information. You need a way of getting in touch with them for more information or directing the insurance company their way for a statement.

You should also confirm whether they are willing to provide a statement to the police or insurance carrier and testify on your behalf if you must take your case to court. Knowing you have someone to back up your claims about what happened is beneficial.

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After an accident, it is always in your best interest to consult a personal injury lawyer. Even if you don’t have a case, it doesn’t cost you anything to get a professional opinion as most personal injury lawyers, including the attorneys of Harris Keenan & Goldfarb, work on contingency – we never charge anything up-front.

Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb has represented New York clients since 1997. Our team of attorneys, investigators, paralegals, and experts work together on each case we take to achieve a favorable and exemplary result. We can pursue compensation for your injuries and advocate for you throughout your case.

If you sustained injuries in an accident that someone else caused, call 800-PAIN-LAW or dial #PAIN for a consultation today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When you have suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do next. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum possible compensation.

The first step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on whether or not you have a valid claim. Even if you do not have a strong case, an attorney may still be able to help you recover damages through negotiation with the other party’s insurance company. If your case does go to court, the judge will consider various factors in order to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation. These factors can include the severity of your injury, the cost of your medical bills, and the amount of time you missed from work.

The answer depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury, the insurance coverage available, and the type of accident. In general, however, if you have suffered a serious injury that will require extensive medical treatment or result in long-term disability, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your legal options. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex claims process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a personal injury attorney. First, you want to make sure that the attorney has experience handling cases like yours. Second, you want to make sure that the attorney is licensed to practice in your state. Third, you want to ask about the attorney’s success rate. Fourth, you want to make sure that the attorney has a good reputation. Finally, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the attorney. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to schedule a free consultation to determine if we are the best choice for your case.

Once we decide to take on your case, we will then begin gathering evidence and investigating the accident. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and obtaining medical records. Once we have gathered all the necessary information, we will then work with you to build a strong legal case. If an agreement can’t be reached out of court, our attorney will then take your case to trial. Throughout the entire process, your attorney will be by your side, fighting for the compensation you deserve.