Importance of Securing Witnesses Following a Car Accident
Car accidents can be devastating. It is important to realize that even if the liability of another driver seems clear-cut to you, his or her insurance adjuster will be looking for ways in which you might have been to blame. A knowledgeable attorney will understand the importance of securing witnesses following a car accident, such as the experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm. After a collision, there are several steps that you should take in order to give yourself a strong chance of recovering damages in court from a negligent driver.The Importance of Securing Witnesses Following a Car Accident
Among the most important steps that you can take after an accident is to take down the names, phone numbers, and other contact information of witnesses to the accident. You and the other driver are both witnesses to what happened, but your opinions about what happened and the order in which events happened may sharply differ. Your ability to recover your medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages might depend in part on securing additional witness testimony.
Witnesses often have information and knowledge about what happened because they are watching the accident from a different perspective than either of the drivers. For example, a pedestrian at an uncontrolled intersection may have a better understanding of who arrived at the intersection first, and they may have seen what the drivers were doing inside their cars before the collision. A pedestrian may see, for example, that a driver was eating a sandwich or that a driver was looking down at a phone.
Witnesses to the accident can help establish liability. To prove fault, your attorney will need to show that the other driver’s careless actions caused the crash. For example, if the other driver is texting while driving and then drifts into your lane and collides with you, it is likely that a jury would find liability. For another example, if a driver fails to yield when waiting at an intersection to make a left turn and strikes a car that is going straight, this would likely support liability.
Sometimes what happens to cause an accident is confusing, and there are conflicting accounts. Witness testimony can be used to establish the sequence of events that caused the accident. When what happened is still not clear, testimony from witnesses can assist an accident reconstruction expert, who will also look at debris, skid marks, damage to the vehicles, and other evidence to determine causation.
On the other hand, witness testimony can also help the case against you. For example, a witness may notice that you failed to turn on your blinkers and that you seemed to be driving straight through the intersection, rather than making a left turn. It is important to get any information that witnesses have, even if it is potentially damaging, so that we can build the strongest case with insurance adjusters or at trial. Our ability to prepare your case depends on knowing the alternative information that may be out there and that could come up at trial. After an accident involving injuries, you should try to collect information not only from witnesses who back up your account but from everybody, since witnesses who do not agree with you may be used by the other party or parties to the lawsuit.
Often, defendants raise the doctrine of comparative negligence. When a defendant raises comparative negligence, the jury will evaluate the evidence and arguments on both sides, determine the total damages, and assign a percentage of fault to each of the parties found to be at fault. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 25% at fault and the other driver is found to be 75% at fault, and the total damages are $100,000, you can recover $75,000 from the other driver.Get Started on Your Case with a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Attorney
You may be unsure about the importance of securing witnesses following a car accident, but we can explain their role to you and help you in this task. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced attorneys can provide knowledgeable legal representation. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or complete our online form. We represent people in cities such as Los Angeles, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino.