Gathering as much evidence as possible to support your case is essential when making a case after a car accident in Indiana. The testimony of a witness can be a huge asset, but only if they are considered a credible witness. Knowing what makes a credible witness will strengthen your case after an accident.
What Is a Witness?
A witness is someone who has seen an event, typically a crime or incident, and is asked to make a statement or testimony of what they saw.
What Purpose Does a Witness Testimony Serve?
Credible witness testimonies serve as an objective perspective of the incident in question.
Their testimony plays a key role in confirming your case and carries more weight because it is objective.
A witness’s testimony provides outside information regarding an accident. Their vantage point and view of the incident can give more details and create a more holistic picture of what happened. Their statement can serve as a bridge between the two parties involved and fill in some blanks that could be missing from the case.
Gathering Witness Testimonies
After a car accident, those involved should first ensure their personal safety and the safety of others. Calling the police should be your second priority. Getting a written police report immediately after an accident will draw the clearest picture of what happened. This is a time for witnesses to share their statements as well.
In the state of Indiana, you have the legal right to gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash. If you cannot, you can contact the police to review their report. Law enforcement does its best to include any witnesses’ names and contact information in their reports. Gathering witness statements or at least contact information is a strong start to building your case.
What Makes a Credible Witness?
Credibility is separating fact from fiction. A credible witness is a witness who is entirely objective and proven to be trustworthy.
Insurance companies will try to prove they aren’t credible to weaken your case and devalue your testimony. Insurance companies will investigate witnesses and their testimony, arguing blocked views or inaccurate statements. Keeping this in mind, let’s review how to destroy a witness’s credibility.
- Conflicting testimony
- Criminal record or history
- Impaired vision
- Cognitive or memory difficulties
- Undisclosed bias or connection to the case
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the incident
Credible witnesses are not influenced or impacted by the outcome. Their statement’s sole purpose is to share the event before, during, or after the incident. Below are some indicators of what could add to someone’s credibility.
- Available at the scene of the incident, willing and able to share their statement
- Had a clear view of the incident with no visual impairments
- Has a clear record and is known to be truthful
- Holds no connection or bias to either party involved, including the insurance company
- Was clear-headed at the time of the accident
Why Is a Credible Witness Statement Important?
Credibility is vital because a witness’s statement could be considered the most important as it’s considered objective.
When bringing in a witness, credibility must be proven. When introducing a witness, insurance companies will try to create doubt surrounding their testimony, especially, if applicable, within the jury. Although your witness’s story may be completely true and defendable, a persuasive argument doubting your witness’s credibility could hurt your case. This could result in losing the opportunity to receive your full compensation.
However, witness testimonies are extremely valuable when proven credible. They should always be explored as an option to strengthen your case. There is an increased chance an insurance company will pay a full settlement to avoid going to court against a witness testimony.
A Credible Witness Affidavit is recognized in court, but this only verifies the witness’s identity. Their character, state of mind at the scene of the accident, and other factors will still come into play in determining what makes a witness credible.
Contact Crossen Law Firm
Work with an attorney to verify your witness and their statement. Working with a witness that isn’t credible will hurt your chances of receiving your correct compensation. Your Indiana personal injury attorney knows what makes a witness not credible and will screen them before court, verifying that their testimony will build your case.
At Crossen Law Firm, we are dedicated to you and your case. We will work with you, the witnesses, the police, the other driver’s attorney, and the insurance companies. We specialize in personal injury claims; work with us today to get your full car accident settlement. Call us at 317-401-8626.