Eyewitness testimony is one of the most important aspects of many personal injury cases if you are looking to prove your case and protect your rights. Having somebody to back up your story or theories is one of the best things that you can ask for as you move forward with a case against another party. However, how can you tell that your witness is actually credible and will hold up if you make it to court over your injury case?
The Role of Witnesses
Firstly, it is important to understand the role of a witness in your case. There are typically two types of witnesses. The first type is the witness who actually saw the accident take place, which is the one that you might think of right off the bat because they have agreed to come forward and support the facts of your case to help you achieve compensation. However, what they call an expert witness is much different.
An expert witness is a particular individual who has a specific type of knowledge in a subject. Perhaps, in the event of a car accident case, they could speak on behalf of the mechanical aspects of your vehicle if you believe that the defendant caused your accident and injuries. The expert witness is not somebody who saw the accident take place, but they have the knowledge to support the ideas behind your case and can add important information that others might not have known before, which can lead the way toward results for you.
How to Tell if Your Witness is Credible
If you are using a witness to support your claim who actually saw your accident take place, then one of the biggest aspects that will become relevant in your case is ‘witness credibility.’ If the witness observed the accident, can their word be trusted in your claim? Here are some questions that the judge or jury in your case might ask to dictate whether or not a certain witness might be used:
- Was the witness driving in close proximity to your accident at the time? If so, they might not have been paying close attention to the accident but instead working to avoid becoming involved in it.
- Was the witness distracted by the accident at this time and didn’t notice what happened from start to finish?
- Is the witness relying on observations that others have shared with them about the accident or their own experience watching it take place?
- Is the witness’ character reliable? Are they a convicted felon, someone who is known for being dishonest, or has an interest in the outcome of the claim because they were involved in the accident themselves?
As you can see, there are many elements that can be called into questions in regards to the credibility of a witness. Perhaps the witness is your friend and the court believes that they might be working in your favor to ensure that you get the best results. Maybe the witness is in poor health and, because of this, there are concerns of whether or not they were able to fully grasp the scenario. If it is believed that your witness lacks credibility, you might be back to square one protecting your rights and proving the case from your perspective.
At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, our experienced attorneys believe that the success of your claim starts from the very beginning, from collecting evidence that will support you during this difficult time. Witnesses are a very important and fundamental part of any claim, which is why it is imperative that you choose the best witnesses who have seen your accident from their perspective and can protect your rights alongside you. We will fight aggressively to ensure that your rights are protected and you are able to move forward with your claim during this desperate time. Contact us for more information on how we can assist you in your time of need at (304) 713-2014. We are waiting to hear from you.
Note: Secondary sources were used to create this piece and, because of this, the information included has not been independently verified. If you notice a factual issue with our posting, please bring it to our attention and we will correct or remove it as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: Our intent in these posts it to bring attention to the dangers members in our community face and to encourage caution. Accidents do happen and we hope these posts help those affected. However, this information should not be misconstrued as legal or medical advice, and we urge you to contact a trained legal professional for more information regarding your specific situation.