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Collecting Witness Statements in a Virginia Accident Case

Va. injury lawyerWhen you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, the more evidence you can gather to prove your case, the more chances you have of being successful in your claim or lawsuit. A Virginia car accident attorney will take all that evidence from the accident and use it to build your case. This evidence includes medical records, police, reports, and any photographs you were able to take of the scene of the crash.

One of the most significant pieces of evidence an attorney can have in a case is a witness statement, especially if that witness was just a bystander and not someone previously known to the victim. Although there are many pieces of evidence your attorney will obtain, witness statements are evidence that the victim often needs to get at the accident scene itself, assuming they are physically able to do so.

Talking to bystanders at the scene and writing down what they saw can be very helpful since, over time, many people’s memories fade. While you are still at the scene, obtain the name and contact information of any potential witnesses. This can include any passengers who were in the other driver’s vehicle, any other drivers who stopped to help, pedestrians, and people who were in businesses located near the accident scene.

Also, try to write down each one’s initial memory of what they saw. Your attorney will likely contact these witnesses at some point, but being able to provide him or her with a statement from the witness, with a fresh recollection of what just took place, can be a critical piece of evidence in your personal injury lawsuit.

What Makes a Good Witness?

Your attorney will determine which witnesses will be helpful for your case. This will be done by not only examining their statement but also examining factors the insurance company’s attorney will use to try to impeach the credibility of the witness. These factors may include:

  • Does the witness have a vested interest in how the case comes out?
  • Does the witness provide consistent statements?
  • Does the witness provide coherent statements?
  • Was there anything that could have been distracting the witness at the time of the crash?
  • Does the witness have any medical issues that could affect their recollection, such as poor memory, hearing, or eyesight?
  • Does the witness have a history of being dishonest?

Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro & Appleton, we are dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused. Call 757-578-1079 for a free case evaluation.

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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