How To Respond To Inquiries About Your Witnesses?

At some point, the adjuster might ask you about the possible existence of witnesses. How should you respond to that inquiry?

Basic approach

Personal Injury Lawyer in Barrie know that do not hide the identity of any witness, unless a given witness has asked you to hide his or her identity. Understand that the unnecessary concealing of a witness’ identity could be viewed as a suspicious activity. By the same token, any statement from someone that insists on hiding his or her identity would be of limited value.

Rights of any witness

The right to refuse to speak with the adjuster. The right to decide when and where the meeting should take place; that includes right to select a phone call, over a face-to-face confrontation.

If meeting over phone, witness has freedom to select the time when a call to the adjuster’s phone will be made.

All witnesses are free to decide whether or not to provide a written statement. Those that do decide to offer a written statement are not under any obligation to sign such a statement.

No witness’ obligations include that of agreeing to have the conversation with the adjuster taped.

Once any of the witnesses have spoken with the adjuster, the insurance company should have no reason to ask any other employees to interview the same person/witness.

Rights of claimant/plaintiff

Claimants should feel free to share with any witnesses the information on their rights. The claimants/plaintiffs should feel free to discuss with any witnesses the details, regarding what the witness saw or heard on the day of the accident.

No claimant has the right to tell a witness what to say, when giving testimony, during discovery or during the trial. Any claimant or plaintiff has the right to ask about the witness list that has been assembled by the opposing side.

Use good judgment, when selecting witnesses

A claimant or plaintiff’s case would not become stronger if it were to rely on testimony from someone that had been riding in the same car as the defendant in the personal injury case. It helps to have a neutral party giving testimony about how the accident took place.

A jury or judge might find it hard to believe that an occupant of the defendant’s vehicle would never receive a bit of advice from the person that has been named at-fault for a particular accident. Even if that same witness did not receive any advice, he or she could have a skewed view of what went wrong on the day of that unfortunate incident.

Witnesses could receive instructions from the claimant or plaintiff’s attorney, regarding what to do or say on the witness stand. That advice could suggest how to hold the hands, or direct the eyes.