With most trips you take, you arrive at your destination safely. Still, it only takes one accident for you to develop the sort of injuries that may cause you a lifetime of hardship. Because roughly 900 car accidents occur for every 100,000 residents in Louisiana, you may eventually find yourself in the middle of a motor vehicle collision.
If you plan to pursue compensation from whoever caused the accident, you must begin to build a case. As you likely know, witnesses often make the difference. When you talk to a potential witness, though, you want to be sure your conversation is both productive and valuable. Here are four tips for talking to a witness following a car crash:
1. Focus on your safety
Car accidents are not only dangerous while they are unfolding. If you want to be sure you do not sustain further injuries, you must move yourself out of danger as quickly as possible. The same is true for talking to witnesses. Only approach potential witnesses in a safe, well-lit place.
2. Set the scene
Not all witnesses have the same vantage point. As such, when you talk to potential witnesses, ask about where they were when the crash happened. Further, try to discern whether the person had an opportunity to see the collision. A witness using a smartphone, reading a newspaper or otherwise not paying attention may not be useful to you.
3. Ask for contact information
Accident witnesses likely do not have all day to talk to you about what they may have seen. Therefore, try to ask everyone who witnessed the collision to provide you with contact information. If you obtain names and telephone numbers, you can follow up with witnesses at a more convenient time.
4. Look for facts
Unless you happen to have a collision in front of an accident investigator’s office, witnesses to your collision are likely to be amateurs. Therefore, do not ask a witness to speculate about events. Instead, ask for concrete facts about the collision. A witness who provides information about what he or she saw is probably more valuable than one who interjects his or her personal opinion.
Talking to witnesses after a car accident may help your legal case. Still, you do not want to devote your time to gathering irrelevant or unimportant information. With a bit of diligence, you can likely obtain the information you need to bolster your personal injury claim.