If bystanders happened to see the car accident that you were involved in, their statements and recollection of what happened in the crash can serve as important evidence if you later choose to pursue a claim for compensation. Below are some examples of questions that you may want to consider asking when gathering witness statements after a car accident.
What Did You See?
When collecting witness statements after a car accident, start by asking them for a description of the accident. The details they provide can help you to identify other questions you may need to ask the witnesses.
When Did You Know That a Car Accident Had Happened?
This question can give you a good sense of whether a witness may have important information to add about what caused the accident. If a witness didn’t know that an accident had happened until they heard a crashing sound, they are less likely to know details about the moments leading up to the accident.
How Did the Crash Occur?
You may also want to ask the witness for their opinion as to what or who caused the crash, if they have an opinion. You may also want to ask them for specific details from the accident, including the positions and movement of vehicles prior to the collision, whether any vehicles attempted to brake or swerve to avoid the accident, how fast vehicles were traveling, and what damage they might have seen.
Where Were You When the Crash Occurred?
This can help you determine if the witness was able to get a good look at the accident. If a witness was driving their own vehicle or was paying attention to something else, or if they were dozens or hundreds of yards away, or if they had their view obstructed, they may have not noticed many important details.
Were You with Anyone When the Crash Occurred?
Asking witnesses if they were with others can give you leads for additional witnesses. You can also compare statements between witnesses who were together to see how they line up or differ.
What Did You Do after the Accident?
What the witness did after the accident indicates whether they thought it was serious. For example, if a witness called 911 or rushed to the accident to check on the people involved.
Did You See Any Other Witnesses to the Accident?
Again, this question may give you leads for other witnesses you can interview.
Do You Know Anyone Involved in the Crash?
You also need to know if an eyewitness to an accident may be biased. Other drivers may have been arriving to pick up or meet someone that happened to witness the crash. Someone who is friends with the other driver is less likely to be a favorable witness for your case.
Did You Hear Anything That the People Involved in the Accident Said to One Another?
This may give you information about potentially useful statements that other drivers involved in the accident may have said. However, you should make sure that the witness heard exactly what was said; don’t ask a witness to speculate or fill in blanks.
What Is Your Contact Information?
Make sure to get an eyewitness’s contact information in case you need to speak to them again. It can also be helpful to ask a witness to write down a brief statement detailing what they saw.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured because of car accidents in Coconut Creek, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Pembroke Pines, and throughout Florida. Call (954) 525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.