A witness might have seen or heard something of significance. For that reason, witnesses could provide a claimant with noteworthy evidence. Still, some victims struggle to obtain a witness’ account of a reported incident.
Smart claimants recognize the value in finding an unbiased witness.
• A pedestrian would qualify as an unbiased observer.
• The driver of the other vehicle might have a witness’ unbiased view of the reported event.
• Someone that had been living or working in an adjacent building should have view that would not have been swayed by ties to any of those involved in the accident.
• While an emergency responder would not know what took place before the accident, he or she would know what either party did after that same incident.
The victim of a collision should get the necessary contact information.
• The home and work address for any witnesses
• The home and work phone numbers for the same individuals.
• The telephone number of someone that is close to the interviewed witness
What to ask any of those that have observed an accident, or have heard sounds that were created by the same event.
What did that same person see before, during and after the accident?
What did that same person hear before, during and after the same incident?
Why had the person, being questioned come to the location of the accident-of-interest?
Approaches that might be used for adding to a listing of witnesses’ names
Check the police report. Sometimes the officer that has arrived at the scene has jotted down the names of those questioned, not just the names of the involved drivers. Consider returning to the site of the collision.
If taking that action, make a point of going at the time-of-day that matches with the time of the reported accident. Someone might have been standing on a particular corner, awaiting a bus, on the day of when the injury-causing incident took place. Ask those that reside in the same area if there have been many other accidents at the same location.
When viewing such a site, look for physical clues. Save those clues that can be removed and placed in a secure location. Take pictures of any that cannot be moved. Find out what businesses or other facilities might have a video camera that would have been focused on the spot where 2 or more vehicles collided.
Do not assume that because a camera had been focused on the site-of-interest, it should have valuable footage. There might be a tree or other object in the path of any light that would have bounced off of the metal on any of colliding vehicles. Consequently, that same light would not have reached the camera’s lens.