What Makes Someone a Credible Witness for a Car Crash Claim?

credible witness in a car accident

You are in a car accident. In order to recover the cost of the accident – the damage to your car and your medical expenses- you will have to recount exactly what happened?  Who was the at-fault party who should pay?

But the question must be asked, are you the best witness to what happened?  You and the other driver can offer a single perspective, but neither of you may be the most objective witness to the moments before the crash.

Remember it will be the insurance company for the at-fault driver that will cover the car crash cost after you file a claim.  Because money is involved, you can be sure that the insurance adjuster will try and attack the credibility of any witnesses you bring forward, especially one with a limited perspective on the crash.

During his more than 40 years of representing individuals involved in personal injury claims, Chip Nix has encountered the issue of witness credibility many times in presenting a case for his client, whether at trial or during negotiations with the insurance industry. He understands the importance of using credible witnesses and will share his knowledge during a complimentary consultation on your car crash.

Credible Witnesses

There are several factors to consider when assessing the credibility of a witness to a car crash.

Some of them may include:

  • Perspective on the Crash – Just how close was the witness to the crash, and from what angle did they witness it?  What was that person doing just before the collision? Were their eyes on the vehicles, or did they look up after hearing the metal collide? Was that person of sound mind at the time, or were they suffering the effects of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue? Is the witness impaired in any way – how is their eyesight and hearing? Was the person on foot or in another vehicle? Were they trying to evade the collision at that moment, therefore possibly not paying full attention? It is doubtful that a witness is observing precisely at the moment of a crash, so look for any insurance adjuster to explore holes in that witness testimony.

  • Relationship to the Accident Victim – The insurance company will also explore the relationship between the witness and the person involved in the car crash.  Are they friends or relatives? Is there a reason to recount a less than truthful version of the events leading up to the impact?  If this case goes to trial, a jury might speculate whether the witness related to the victim has an ulterior motive to see things one way.

  • Credibility of Witness – Also, expect the insurance company to explore and even attack the witness’s credibility, especially if they have a criminal record. Though it may not be relevant to being a witness, if the insurer can chip away at the witnesses’ credibility, that can and will be used against them during negotiations or trial.

  • Consistency of the Story – After several interviews where the witness recounts what led to a car crash, are there any inconsistencies? You can bet that will be used to demean the credibility of the witness testimony. After retelling their version of what happened many different times to investigators, are there any perceived inconsistencies in the story? Does the witness become hostile in any way? Even a mild frustration at having their story about the crash probed can create a witness who may be considered uncooperative and therefore less credible.  

These are just some of the ways that even a good, credible eyewitness to a car crash can hurt your case and even do damage to your claim.

Your Alabama Car Crash Attorney

Personal injury attorney Chip Nix understands how an insurance adjuster can try and hurt your case. In presenting your story, he will seek out multiple witnesses to back up the events and create a consistent picture of what happened just before the car crash. Make sure you work with Mr. Nix to consider everyone who might provide a credible recounting of your car crash.

Let us help you obtain just compensation for what you have lost. There is no cost for a consultation so let’s discuss everything you need to present the truth.

You can reach Mr. Nix at his Montgomery office at 334-203-6669 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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