Truck Accident and Eyewitnesses

The Role of Eyewitnesses in a Truck Accident Case

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, securing fair and full compensation is probably one of your top priorities. But what type of evidence do you need to get the compensation you’re owed? Eyewitness testimony is a powerful tool when used correctly—and in something as significant as a truck accident, there are likely going to be eyewitnesses.

Learn more about how to use eyewitness testimony in your claim and what eyewitnesses can do for your case. When you’re ready to start your case, call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 and set up a personal injury consultation.

How to Gather Effective Eyewitness Testimony

Utilizing eyewitness testimony starts with making sure you find and connect with eyewitnesses. The best time to talk to potential eyewitnesses is at the scene of a crash before you leave. This isn’t always possible, especially if you’re seriously injured, but this is the best way to go. If people stop to help—or they’re stopped because the crash has blocked off the highway and they can’t go anywhere—get their name and contact information. Go beyond other drivers and don’t forget to talk to passengers, pedestrians, people working in nearby buildings, and anyone else in the vicinity.

Next, you have to get that information to your attorney as soon as possible. Surprisingly, eyewitness testimony begins degrading almost immediately after an event. While someone may remember an accident clearly right after it happens, their story will start changing in small but important ways in the days and weeks that follow. If you wait too long to reach out to eyewitnesses, odds are good that they will forget information that could otherwise have helped your case.

Corroboration of Your Story

When you get statements from eyewitnesses, their side of the story may corroborate what you told the police, your attorney, and your insurance company. This is important in vehicle collisions since it’s fairly common for the drivers to have conflicting stories. When the stories clash and there’s no physical evidence proving either side’s accuracy, eyewitnesses can step in and clear up any confusion. 

This is especially important when the disputed points can literally determine liability. Consider, for example, a T-bone crash at an intersection. Both sides claim that they had the green light, and there aren’t any traffic cameras at the intersection to prove who is correct. If you have half a dozen eyewitnesses who can verify that you had the green light, it will be far more difficult for the other side to deny their liability.

Important Context

In some cases, eyewitness statements can provide valuable context. You only know what happened from your point of view before, during, and after the crash. The drivers and vehicle occupants around you had a completely different perspective. Consider a truck accident caused by a truck driver sideswiping you and pushing your car into the median. To you, it seems like the truck driver randomly lost control of their vehicle and crashed into you. But when your lawyer talks to an eyewitness who stopped to provide assistance, they get the full story. 

The eyewitness saw the truck driver nodding off over a mile prior to the crash. After driving next to the truck driver and watching them nod off, wake up, and nod off again, they dropped back to avoid a collision. This information could help you prove that the truck driver was fatigued and let your attorney know that they should look into the truck driver’s hours-of-service.

Issues That May Arise

While eyewitness statements are incredibly valuable when used accurately, they aren’t infallible. Their stories may change over time as their memories degrade, which can make them a less valuable resource during depositions or when they are called to court. Inconsistencies in their story can damage their credibility as a witness and subsequently harm your case. Eyewitnesses also are not always available. While they may stop to provide assistance, they may change their mind once they realize what’s involved.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Call Bailey Javins & Carter Now

Don’t wait any longer to find out if you’re entitled to compensation after your truck accident. Let us help you pursue compensation. Set up a consultation with our Charleston truck accident attorneys by calling us at 800-497-0234 or reaching out online.