Table of Contents
- Please Explain in Your Own Words What Happened
- What Were You Doing Before the Accident Occurred?
- Was Anyone With You When The Accident Occurred?
- Where Were You Located When the Accident Occurred?
- Can You Explain in Further Detail?
- Do You Know Anyone Who Was In the Accident?
- Is There Anything Else You Want To Add?
When car accidents occur, emotions are running high, and there are many things to do. We need to be sure to call the police, seek medical attention, get the police report, and get witness testimony. Without witness testimony, the police report, or pictures, the accident can turn into a “he said, she said” situation.
Therefore it is essential to ask the right questions to someone who has witnessed the accident and is willing to testify about what occurred. Asking the right questions of the witness can help your West Palm Beach car accident lawyer when they talk to your insurance company.
Thankfully, we have a few questions that you can ask a witness if you are in a car accident.
Please Explain in Your Own Words What Happened
This question is good to start with since it is an open-ended question. Starting with an open-ended question will help the other person to reflect on what happened and tell the story of what they saw in their own words. A question like this allows the witness to tell the story without being pressured about specific details.
What Were You Doing Before the Accident Occurred?
This question is essential to determine where the person was before the accident occurred. If the witness only turned around once they heard the crash happen, then their testimony might not help you very much. But, if they were driving their car behind you and saw the whole accident play out, then this could be beneficial for your insurance claim. Specific weather conditions like rain may affect how much the witness saw when the accident occurred.
Was Anyone With You When The Accident Occurred?
This question is relevant in the case that you want to prove that your witness was not distracted and saw the accident unfold as it happened, in all its detail. Therefore, if a witness was with someone, you want to find out who they were with and if that person distracted them. Also, if they did have another person with them, you can ask that person for their testimony.
Where Were You Located When the Accident Occurred?
Similar to the question about what they were doing, you want to know where they were in relation to the accident to find out how much they could see. You may want to ask specific questions like, what street corner were you on, or were you driving on a particular road? Establishing where their position was at the accident scene can tell you what traffic lights or other vehicles they saw when the accident happened. And, this statement can help with your insurance claim. For example, if the witness saw your light was green and the other person’s light was red, this can help your claim.
Can You Explain in Further Detail?
You want to get as many details from the witness as possible without it feeling like an interrogation. You may not ask this question specifically, but you can ask for more specific information based on what they tell you in the general overview of what they saw. For example, did you notice anyone was under the influence, or did you see anyone violate a traffic law? These questions will help to get a better witness testimony for your claim.
Do You Know Anyone Who Was In the Accident?
This question is to protect your witness testimony from biases. Suppose the person does know someone in the accident. In that case, their testimony might not be suitable to use because it could be argued that they are trying to ensure their friend or family member does not get in trouble. However, if they do not know anyone, then they can relay an unbiased story of what occurred.
Is There Anything Else You Want To Add?
Starting with an open-ended question and ending with an open-ended question is a good idea. Plus, this gives the witness a chance to recall anything else they might have seen from the accident. And asking this question provides you the extra chance to get as much detail as you can from the witness.
Again, witness testimony is essential when reporting the accident and makes your claim more credible. Of course, if there are no witnesses, there is not much you can do, but if there are witnesses, be sure to ask some of these questions to get the information you need to prove your innocence.