Having the right witnesses in a personal injury case can often make the difference between a successful claim and an unsuccessful claim.
Even though at the time of an accident your mind will be elsewhere, it’s imperative that you remember to speak to witnesses and gather some key information. Collecting their statements, personal information, and what they witnessed, will be helpful in the future.
There are a variety of witnesses in a personal injury case that can help your cause. Each plays their own role in strengthening your claim and can help you and your lawyer build the strongest case possible.
Personal Injury: Lay Witnesses
Lay witnesses are witnesses with no particular area of professional expertise. They are either firsthand witnesses to the accident or people you know (like friends or family) who can testify how the accident and injury has affected you. Both provide added support to the statements you make and the events that you and your lawyer are trying to demonstrate occurred.
If your firsthand witnesses are strangers, make sure not to push them if they don’t seem comfortable with the process. Get as much information from them as you can, like their statement and personal information, and make sure their version of events is signed by them. If they aren’t willing to give a lot of personal information, then don’t push the subject. You want them to do as much for you as possible, and this won’t happen if they aren’t comfortable with you or feel pressured.
Family or friends that see the impact of the accident or injuries on your daily life will strengthen your claim as well. They can give testimonial about your daily activities, like how your home life has changed, or if you’re not working, how this has affected you mentally. For cases such as motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls or long term disability, these witnesses are necessary for a strong case.
Personal Injury: Expert Witnesses
In many personal injury cases, expert witnesses will be called upon to give professional and relevant information to the case. These witnesses could be anyone that’s qualified depending on what your case is trying to demonstrate.
Usually, doctors will act as professional witnesses to discuss the severity and extent of an injury as well as future care that will be required and effects of it. Sometimes, financial or economic experts will give evidence regarding the costs of an injury and how you’ll be affected financially in the future. This can help determine the amount of a claim that will be paid out. Other witnesses could come into play as well depending on your case, from engineers, to climatologists, to manufacturers.
Expert witnesses can be expensive, as they charge a variety of fees including consulting, written statements, and time in court. However, as a victim, this should not be your concern and your lawyer can negotiate and calculate this.
Contact a Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an accident where a variety of witnesses are involved, it’s necessary that you contact a lawyer to help you. They can contact witnesses on your behalf and gather the necessary information, ask them to give testimonials, and discuss any other necessary details with them. You don’t want to make a mistake in how you speak to your witnesses and have someone report you for coercing or obstructing access to information.
A lawyer can help ensure the right witnesses and information are used to strengthen your case. Contact Nyland Personal Injury Law today to get your process started!