A good witness statement strengthens your auto accident case. For example, you can use the statement to prove the defendant's liability for the crash. Below are features of a good witness statement.
It Should Come From a Credible Witness
A witness statement must come from a credible person for the statement to strengthen your case. Testimony is reliable if it comes from a witness who is
Specifically, you must prove that the witness:
- Saw or experienced the events in their testimony
- Does not benefit in any way from the case and does not have a vested interest in it
- Has been consistent in their testimony since the accident
Consider a case where two siblings witness two cars crash while sitting by the highway. One of the siblings was intoxicated at the time of the crash, while the other was sober and alert. The case's defendant may argue that the intoxicated witness is unreliable because their intoxication interfered with their vision or memory.
It Should Include Relevant Facts
A witness statement will help you best if it contains only facts of the case. The witness' opinions, theories, or arguments will not help you. The witness should only say what they saw, where they were, and when the events occurred.
Consider a witness who saw a car zigzagging across the road and then hitting a parked car. The witness should not explain that the driver was driving erratically due to intoxication. The witness should just state that they saw the car moving erratically.
It Should Be Descriptive
The witness should describe the event in as much detail as possible. For example, the witness may describe:
- The type of noise they heard, for example, a bang, a clang, or a thud
- The smell that filled the air after the accident, for example, a burning plastic smell
- The weather conditions at the time of the crash, for example, freezing weather
Descriptive words help paint an accurate picture for those not at the accident scene.
It Should Be Chronological
Lastly, a chronological statement is easier to understand than a jumbled-up one. The statement should:
- Start with the witness' location and actions before the accident, for example, walking by the roadside
- Describe the events of the accident, for example, a head-on crash
- Conclude with the post-accident events, for example, descriptions of the damage or injuries
The chronology may also help the witness remember details they would otherwise forget. Click here for more info regarding this topic.