Writing a Car Accident Witness Statement

Picture of Kyle E. Wright
Kyle E. Wright
10/11/22 10:46 AM
Tags: Personal Injury

It is always nice to help others who may need assistance after an incident. However, if the damage caused by the incident is complex, then providing a witness statement for the police report will prove useful. Accidents often leave behind clues about who was responsible for the incident. If you were there, know that an eyewitness testimony could help investigators identify the at-fault party and a well-crafted witness testimony can be very useful for a personal injury lawyer. It can help them build a stronger case against the at-fault party and help the victim receive a fair settlement.

Witness Statements Are Important

An accident report can be helpful or harmful, depending on who wrote it. Both parties conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash. While the injured person works hard to gather proof that they were not responsible for the crash, the insurance company searches for proof that they, for instance, weren't driving too fast or didn't turn on their headlights.

Writing a Car Accident Witness StatementUnbiased Attention to Detail

Witnesses can provide the facts of an accident from a different angle to those involved. Recording these facts can be useful for police, insurers, and legal professionals who may need to draw conclusions about the cause of the accident.

  • Liability
  • Extent of damages
  • External factors

Because people who witness accidents don't experience as much stress as people involved in an accident, they have a better chance of noticing small but important details.

A Deciding Factor

A witness statement can be used to determine whether one party was responsible for causing an auto crash. Sometimes, both people involved could be held accountable for the incident.

For example, under some states' comparative fault system, you may be able to recover some compensation from an at-fault driver even though you were partly responsible for the crash. But the total recovery amount would be reduced by the extent of your fault.

If you're involved in an accident, having a witness statement can be helpful when determining fault and offering a fair settlement.

Key Elements of a Car Accident Witness Statement.

Make sure to include the most important details when describing an incident.

  • Your contact info (name, address, telephone number, e-mail).
  • A detailed account of all accidents (before, during, and after). Try to use laymen's terms and be thorough.
  • You may think that the damage caused by accidents involving cars and motorcycles is limited to the vehicle itself and its occupants, but in fact, there guard-rails, signs, etc. are useful to note.
  • A brief summary of the weather conditions (rain, fog, wind, etc.) and road conditions (puddles, potholes, etc.).
  • Where were you when the accident occurred and when it exactly happened? Sometimes down to the second matters.
  • A description of all the people involved in the accident

Make sure to include everything you know about the incident in the report, but don't guess at things or assume them to be true. You should always write down statements clearly and honestly.

Tips That Will Help You Write a Solid Statement.

Ensure Accuracy

You need to share all the relevant information that you know without leaving anything out. If you're unsure about something, don't include it.

Don't Wait

It's important to get down on paper as quickly as possible. Writing down your memory may help your memory stay sharper for longer. If you keep reviewing the events of an accident repeatedly, you might get confused about the exact sequence of events. Don't discuss the accident with anyone else until you've written down your own account. They might tell you things that affect your memory.

Try to Be Objective

You should always strive for objectivity when trying to improve your writing skills. If you need to add information to the sentence, visualize it. The human mind tends to fill in memory holes with information, and visualization helps you stay objective. Don't fill in gaps if you aren't sure about them.

Share the Specifics

You don't have to write an official report if you want to. However, there's no set limit on how long your report can be. Don't be afraid to include any details you remember, even if they seem insignificant at first glance. They might prove useful later.

Be Organized

A good quality witness report is well organized. Even if you have a lot of things to say, organize them chronologically. If your report is not organized or coherent, attorneys and insurance companies might question your credibility. Start by writing down everything you know. Organizing these notes in one place makes them easier to read.

Check Your Spelling

If you misspell a word or use incorrect grammar when writing a witness report, you may be raising doubts about your ability to accurately recall details from an event. Be careful not to leave spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in your reports. Proofreading them thoroughly before turning them in will help ensure they're accurate.

Avoid Accusations

Even if you're absolutely certain that you know who was at fault, don't accuse anyone. Accusations could be taken out of context and lead to misunderstandings. Witnesses' jobs are to share the facts of an incident and allow people to come to their own conclusions.

Insurance firms, lawyers, and law enforcement agencies must decide whether someone is at fault. Accusations and presumptions may lead them to question your honesty or bias. A good eyewitness is there only to provide accurate information, which will help the courts to help the real victim of neglect if they are involved in an incident.

Guide me through Personal Injury!

Maybe you have already been in an accident or are just curious about the process. That is okay. We are here to help you. Check out our series on how you should be thorough in reporting after an accident If you have been injured in an accident and have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Check out our comprehensive guide to Personal Injury!

Author: Kyle E. Wright     Published: 10/11/22 10:46 AM     Tags: Personal Injury


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