If you have been in a car accident, after you know everyone is alright your attention quickly shifts to what happened and who saw it. A witness to your accident can become a very important part of preserving your injury accident claim. For more information about how to protect your rights, download a copy of our book Don’t Wreck Your Injury Claim.
Where are you going to find witnesses? A witness can be someone who was in the vehicle with you. Witnesses can also be bystanders and other motorists who saw the accident happen. One of the most important things you can do after an accident is to find and speak to witnesses before an insurance company representative has a chance to speak with them. The moments after an accident can be full of chaos and confusion, but it is important to go up to any eye-eyewitnesses you can find and get information. This is no time to be shy.
What to Do When You Find a Witness
First, take down the contact information of your witness. Ask them for their statement and use the best means you have available to record the statement. In other words, if you have a camera on your cell phone use it to record an audio and video version of the statement. Try to get your witnesses to write out what they saw and sign the account. If they are reluctant to write it out themselves, write it for them and ask them to sign it. Be sure to have the witness proofread the account before they sign it, regardless of who wrote it out. Keep a copy of the statement for yourself.
Getting Back in Touch with a Witness
If considerable time passes between the car accident and your day in court (should it come to that) contacting your witnesses can be difficult. Obviously you would want to begin with the last known address of the witness. If you come up empty, always go through the post office and send a registered letter to the last known address with the “address only” and “return receipt requested” boxes checked off. If the letter is returned to you by the post office or the witness you should be given the current address inside the returned envelope.
If you have questions about your rights after a car crash, contact a Missouri car crash attorney for help.