How to Find Witnesses After a Car Accident in Las Vegas
When you’re hurt in a Las Vegas car accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other losses through a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. But to obtain the financial recovery you need, you must support your claim with strong evidence of what happened during the accident.
Eyewitness statements can be valuable pieces of evidence in a car accident claim. Identifying witnesses can strengthen your case because their opinions will carry more weight with the insurance company than your word alone. An experienced car accident attorney from THE702FIRM Injury Lawyers can help if you were unable to locate witnesses at the time of your accident or were too seriously injured to talk to them.
Our team of highly qualified injury lawyers have more than 130 years of combined experience representing people who have been hurt in Las Vegas car accidents. We’ll conduct a deep investigation into your case and locate witnesses who can support your claim for maximum compensation.
Let us do the heavy work while you focus on recovering. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Importance of Car Accident Witness Statements
Successful car accident claims are built on solid evidence. Before you’re able to recover compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of the crash, you’ll need to prove to the at-fault party or their insurance provider that you were not responsible. When you demonstrate that another driver was liable for the accident, you can hold them financially accountable for the damages they caused.
Without evidence, insurance adjusters are forced to rely on your word versus the word of the other driver when they investigate an accident. Reliable proof of the factors that led to the accident, however, can show that someone else’s negligence caused the collision.
In many cases, witness statements are important pieces of evidence that speak to the facts of a car accident in ways that photographs or reports cannot. A credible witness can offer an unbiased account of the events that occurred before, during, and after the wreck. With the help of a witness’s statement, investigators can reconstruct a collision and determine the most likely causes of the crash.
It’s likely that you will be shaken and disoriented after a motor vehicle collision, and possibly injured. Nevertheless, it’s in your best interest to begin identifying and communicating with witnesses once you determine that you’re in no immediate danger.
Tracking down witnesses after the accident scene has been cleared is much more challenging, so doing what you can in the moments after the wreck can make the claims process easier for you and your lawyer.
How to Find a Car Accident Witness
You can find eyewitnesses before you leave the accident scene by:
- Speaking with people who are present: If you can, look around the accident scene to identify people who may have witnessed what happened. Approach them respectfully and ask them if they’re willing to provide a statement about what they saw. Ask for their contact information as well, in case you need to verify or follow up on any details later on. If you don’t have anything to write with, you can use your phone’s voice recorder to document audio information.
- Asking witnesses to identify other potential witnesses: When you speak to witnesses at the accident scene, ask them if they know of any other people who may have also seen the crash. If possible, collect the names and contact details of those people as well.
In some cases, it may not be possible to speak to eyewitnesses right away. If you sustained severe injuries in the crash, you may have been transported immediately for emergency medical treatment. When it’s not practical to gather witness information immediately after an accident, you may still be able to locate witnesses by:
- Reviewing police accident reports: Police reports contain plenty of valuable information about crash events, including identifying information and statements from any witnesses that police officers interviewed at the scene.
- Canvassing the scene of the accident: If no police report is available or if you suspect there may be more witnesses who weren’t identified in the report, return to the scene at the same time of day when your accident occurred. Anyone who has a routine that leads them by the accident scene on a regular basis, such as a worker in a nearby restaurant, could be a potential witness.
What If There Were No Witnesses to My Accident?
In some cases, it may seem like no one was there to witness your accident except yourself, the other driver, and any passengers along for the ride. Passengers are not usually the most reliable witnesses in a car accident claim because they are often friends or family members of the drivers. While passenger statements are important, they’re much more likely to be biased.
Luckily, there may be several unbiased witnesses available that you may have overlooked, such as:
- Pedestrians: People waiting for public transit, entering or exiting nearby shops, or walking to work may have noticed the accident as they were traveling on foot.
- Occupants of other vehicles: Delivery drivers, bus drivers, commercial vehicle operators, and any other drivers or passengers who were nearby at the time may be able to provide testimony.
- People in nearby buildings: Managers or employees of nearby stores, food vendors, or office workers in adjacent buildings overlooking the accident scene could be witnesses in your case.
- First responders: Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or other emergency responders who observed the aftermath of the collision can offer valuable input about the severity of your injuries when they arrived on the scene.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to shoulder the burden of locating and interviewing witnesses on your own. A personal injury attorney can use his/her considerable resources to locate witnesses and issue subpoenas if necessary. Furthermore, if there really were no witnesses to your accident, your lawyer can help you collect as much supporting evidence as possible from other sources.
The Importance of Witness Credibility After an Accident
Even if other people did witness the accident, their statements will only be valuable evidence for your claim if they are considered credible witnesses. A credible witness is usually someone who was not involved in the crash, has no stake in the outcome of your claim, and can be relied upon to make truthful statements.
Some factors that may affect the credibility of a potential witness include:
- How close they were to the accident when it occurred
- Whether they were driving when the crash happened
- Whether they saw the accident unfold from start to finish
- Whether they could have been distracted at the time of the wreck
- Their reputation as an honest person or status as a convicted felon
- Whether their statements are based on observations made by other witnesses
- The reliability of their vision, hearing, or memory
- Whether or not they were intoxicated when the accident occurred
The Other Driver Has a False Witness — What Can I Do?
It can be alarming when another driver produces a witness who wasn’t there at the time of the accident or otherwise presents false statements about what occurred. However, if the other driver tries to pin the blame on you with the help of a false witness, there are ways you can fight back.
To expose a false witness, there are three things you can do to demonstrate that their statements are fraudulent:
- Get them to make a statement on the record: Your attorney or insurance provider could request a recorded statement or signed written statement from the false witness. This will lock in their story and make it harder for them to backtrack when their statements are proven false.
- Find evidence that contradicts their story: Your lawyer may also find evidence that can place the false witness somewhere else at the time of the accident. There may also be physical evidence that directly contradicts their story, such as footage from nearby surveillance cameras.
- Stick to the facts: Any time you are asked to provide statements or sit for a cross-examination, stick to the facts and present your case in a calm and confident manner. Your own credibility will be a powerful tool if the false witness’s statements seem suspicious.
THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
Reliable witnesses can make or break a car accident claim. Strong witness testimony on your side can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable and show that you are not financially responsible for someone else’s negligence. However, locating trustworthy witnesses takes knowledge, experience, determination, and time. That’s where the dedicated personal injury lawyers of THE702FIRM come in.
Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys have the resources necessary to identify good witnesses and interview them for credible information. To learn more about how we can support your auto accident claim, contact us now to schedule a free consultation.