The Role Of Eyewitness Testimony In Your Car Accident Case

A vital component of any auto accident is potential witnesses. Eyewitnesses are those who witness the accident. While they are often valuable to your auto accident case, their testimony can also have disadvantages. What are the advantages and disadvantages of eyewitness testimony? Here is some information about these important people.

Where Do You Find Eyewitnesses?

Look around at the scene of your accident. There are often people there who are not directly involved in your mishap. One of the things you need to do following your accident is collect their name and contact information. If law enforcement responds, they may do this for you. Eyewitnesses possess vital information that you may need later in your case. 

What Are The Advantages Of Eyewitnesses?

Eyewitnesses can provide vital information under oath through a sworn statement or testimony about the first-hand account of what they saw. Their testimony will help the court understand several things. These include:

  • What took pace
  • Why it happened
  • Who was responsible

Because the witnesses were not directly involved, they will often have a more complete perspective than you or the other driver. They can usually offer a better sequential picture of events about the accident, which can be used as evidence for your case. 

Eyewitness testimony strengthens any other evidence your auto accident attorneys puts forth in your case. Testimony from several witnesses can help the court understand the accident from several different points of view. 

Before your attorney calls an eyewitness, they will ensure that the story they share is:

  • Consistent
  • Comprehensible
  • Cohesive

If there are multiple eyewitnesses, your auto accident lawyers may interview them all but only use those who they feel will present the strongest testimony for your case. 

What Are The Disadvantages of Eyewitnesses?

Unfortunately, eyewitness testimony is not always usable. It can become corrupt or inaccurate, especially over time. Time often causes memories to fade or become intermeshed with other memories. For example, the actual memories may become intertwined with similar accidents they read about or see on television. The person may not even realize they do not recall the information incorrectly.

Eyewitness testimony is also subject to bias. It is influenced by a person's personal emotions and previous traumas. Negative thoughts, feelings, and fears can cause eyewitnesses to provide inaccurate testimony. These biases may be something your car accident lawyers explore prior to using the testimony as a part of your case. 

Talk to local auto accident lawyers to learn more.