Not every car accident claim is straightforward. When the cause of the crash is alcohol, which happens quite frequently around Illinois, there is generally no more need for evidence because it is obvious who is at fault. As auto accident lawyers in O’Fallon, IL we wanted to keep you informed of accident best practices.
However, not every traffic collision will seem so clear. You may know for a fact the other driver is to blame, but the other person says that you caused the crash. It becomes a case of “he said/she said.” Without physical evidence, it can be tough to fight for claim acceptance. It becomes immensely easier when a viable witness saw the crash and offers to provide your attorney with a statement.
People in your car cannot testify
The passenger in your vehicle may offer to provide a statement, but it will not do you any good in court. The passenger is likely a friend or family member, so that statement clearly works in your favor. The good news is that the other driver cannot use passengers’ testimonies, either. The statement has to come from an objective third-party who saw everything that happened, which is why you want to look around immediately after the incident to see if anyone saw the crash.
Time is of the essence
It may be a while until you can get to court. For the time being, the witness should speak with your attorney as soon as possible. Memory is a fickle thing. People tend to forget, or they can add details that did not happen as time goes on. The time of the statement regarding when the accident occurred is important, so you need to make sure you write down the witness’s contact information right after the collision. Additionally, early testimony can help come to a quicker settlement. With a solid account of what transpired, the other driver’s insurance company may feel more compelled to settle sooner.