Witnesses can make or break a car accident claim. In addition to having a reputable and experienced Oklahoma City car accident lawyer, a credible witness is essential to the success of your case because they can help prove important elements of the incident as well as disprove fallacious claims that the other party may throw your way. In most cases, the only witnesses to a car accident scenario are the drivers of the vehicles involved—it’s the word of one against the other. The testimony of one driver who believes the other party to be at fault and vice versa doesn’t do much to actually determine the cause of the incident. This is where additional third-party witnesses are crucial.
One of the first things that your car accident lawyer Tulsa will likely ask is whether or not you can produce a third-party witness to support your claim. When car accident claims are presented to insurance companies, this is the same question that insurance adjusters want answered. Actual people involved in a car accident will likely have a competing version of how things went down during and leading up to the accident. Discrepancies and conflicts between these accounts can be cleared with the help of a credible witness.
Witness credibility is critical to any accident case because a witness’ testimony is only helpful if it is coming from a person who is credible. There are many factors that affect such credibility. Typically, people witnessing car accidents are not consciously attempting at the exact moment of the incident to take a mental inventory of the movements and placements of the vehicles. Quite naturally—and especially when they are in close proximity to the crash site—witnesses are concerned about their safety and are therefore more inclined to avoiding getting caught in the accident than taking mental notes of the events that happen. Only when the incident is over can witnesses try to recall and piece together their observations, which can make their account slightly unreliable at times.
With the help of an Oklahoma City car accident lawyer from Burton Law, you can assess the credibility of your witnesses and make sure that their account can help your case. Experienced car accident lawyers are skilled at determining witness credibility based on their location and viewpoint in relation to the incident, the length of their presence in the scene during the incident, as well as their overall character.