How To Talk To Potential Witnesses For Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury claims are always influenced by witness statements. Finding some can offer great benefits but the truth is most people do not want to have to deal with insurance companies or police officers. The way in which you talk to potential witnesses will greatly impact whether or not they will actually help you.
Finding Potential Witnesses
First off, the witness is someone that actually did see what happened. At the same time though, the witness might also be an individual that was there soon after what happened. This can still be of value since it can prove that you suffered damages or injuries. Even someone that heard someone talk about what happened and some sort of fault might be beneficial for your personal insurance claims.
Try to talk to those that were at the scene and start by simply introducing yourself. You should always be polite and ask what happened, together with what they saw. Then, see if they are willing to offer a statement.
When someone is not cooperative, make sure you do not push for cooperation. You want the witnesses to be on your side so do not say anything that could scare them or irritate them. Obviously, things are much simpler when discussing things with a person you know.
It has to be added that there will be cases in which you cannot directly talk to the witnesses. For instance, when you are involved in a truck accident, your injury might be too severe to find and discuss things with witnesses. Fortunately, your injury attorney will be able to do this for you.
What If Witnesses Do Not Want To Talk?
Witnesses might simply refuse to communicate. When this happens, not much can be done by you directly. It is impossible to force an individual to offer written statements or to talk. And threatening is definitely not an option, just like bribing should never even be considered.
Fortunately for you and your claim, it is possible to subpoena the witnesses. You would need a court to do this and it is only an option when you are involved in a lawsuit. Subpoenas force people to go to court and respond to questions from the authorities.
What If The Witness Talks?
When you find a cooperative witness, make sure to first write down contact details. Then, tell them how to get in touch with you and that a written statement might be necessary in the future. The witness needs to offer consent. After this is given, write down what was said as soon as you can. Whenever possible, simply write this on the spot. A typed copy should be sent to the witness so that they would sign it.
Witnesses that agree to what you say happened might have some reservations. It is normal for people to simply not want to be involved. If this is the case, even a written statement is very useful for your claim. Your attorney and a police officer can offer support to you and the witness to make sure everything will happen as smoothly as possible.