Top Questions to Ask a Car Accident Witness
After a car accident causing you personal injury, you need to document what happened as thoroughly as possible. Even if it seems as though the cause or severity of a collision seems obvious, bear in mind that people may have varying accounts of events later on. In addition to taking photographs and getting a police report, you need to determine whether anyone saw what happened. When you’re speaking with a witness, you should ask several key questions that could be relevant to establishing fault. This of course assumes that your injuries are minor. If you are injured to the extent that you are taken from the scene for treatment by ambulance or otherwise, retain an attorney to gather this information as soon as possible. Accident reports will typically list any witnesses.
What Did You See?
Of course, the first thing you should ask people about is what they saw. Find out if a witness was able to see what both drivers were doing right before the moment of impact. Those few seconds before a collision could be important to a claim. Nevertheless, witnesses who only saw the collision may still have useful information.
Where Were You When the Accident Took Place?
Find out where people were in relation to the site of the accident. You need to know whether they were close enough to have a clear view and how much detail they could have seen.
Could You See Who Had the Right of Way?
If vehicles were going in the opposite direction, a witness may have seen which driver had the right of way. If witnesses say that they were not sure, it is a good idea to ask if they could see traffic signals changing or whether one of the vehicles was turning.
How Fast Were Both Vehicles Going?
Speed can be a key factor in showing fault in a car accident, and the force of a collision may be relevant to the severity of an injury. Ask witnesses if they could tell how fast the vehicles were traveling and if either appeared to be speeding.
Did You See If Either Driver Wasn’t Paying Attention?
Distraction is one of the leading causes of all accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 13% of reported accidents involve distracted driving. Talking on the phone or texting could be proof of fault, so be sure to ask witnesses if they observed drivers using their phones.
Were Other Witnesses There?
People who were present at an accident can let you know about other potential witnesses, so ask who they were with at the time. Also, ask if they saw anyone else present and where they were in relation to the accident.
How Can I Contact You?
Be sure to get witnesses’ names and phone numbers. You may need to get in touch with them to make a sworn statement later on.
An attorney can help you identify and get access to evidence about an accident and advise you about your legal rights. Contact the legal team at Mills & Mahoney, P.A. to schedule a consultation. The aftermath of an accident can seem stressful, but getting the right counsel can make the process easier to navigate.