Car accidents are far more common than you might like to think. If you are a Florida resident and have not experienced one, you should consider yourself very lucky. The Sunshine State records a considerable number of accidents each year. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department reported over 401,000 car crashes in 2021, out of which over 3,700 of them turned out to be fatal.
With such a high number of car accidents taking place each year, your chances of being one are very high, no matter how good of a driver you are. Fortunately, Florida has laws set in place to protect the rights of people who experience car accidents. If you have been in an accident caused by someone else, you have a good chance of getting financial compensation to cover all the damages you suffered.
Working with qualified Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers can increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve to become financially whole again. However, it pays to be well-informed about some of the most important things related to car accidents to streamline the process of working with attorneys to seek reparations.
One of the most important things your lawyer might advise you when seeking to file a claim for your car accident case is to collect evidence that proves your claim. The stronger the evidence you can collect to prove your claim, the better your chances of getting full and fair compensation might be. Witness statements from those who saw the events leading up to the accident are critical pieces of evidence that can play an important part in proving your case.
Today’s post will tell you about the importance of having witnesses in your Port St. Lucie car accident case to increase your chances of becoming financially whole again.
Who is a Witness in a Car Accident Case?
The term “witness” can have multiple applications, depending on the context you are using it in. When it comes to legal situations, a witness is someone broadly defined as an individual who can provide evidence in a case. The evidence they provide could be amid settlement negotiations during car accident cases, or in court, if the case is fought in the courtroom.
Different Types of Witnesses in Car Accident Cases
There are several types of witnesses but only two that are relevant to auto accident claims: Eyewitnesses and expert witnesses.
An eyewitness is what people mostly refer to when they use the term “witness” in a case. The term “eyewitness” is pretty self-explanatory. It describes a person who was present when the situation unfolded and saw what happened. An eyewitness in an accident will be any individual who saw the accident happen. These witnesses typically testify to tell what they observed during the accident. Eyewitnesses are required to simply describe what they saw without expressing opinions.
The judge and jury are the ones responsible for interpreting the facts as eyewitnesses present them and deciding the course of action to take accordingly. Accident victims themselves are witnesses, but there could be other witnesses. If there were other drivers on the road who saw the accident, they could be considered witnesses. Pedestrians who saw the accident can also be regarded as eyewitnesses in car accident cases.
Expert witnesses are also critical to car accident cases. Unlike eyewitnesses, expert witnesses are not present at the time of the accident and they do not have firsthand knowledge. Instead, they are assigned to provide their expert opinions on the facts to paint a clearer picture for the court. Expert witnesses are typically called in to help the judge and jury identify the finer details that only an expert can understand regarding specific aspects of the case.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding an accident, there are several possible experts that can be called expert witnesses. Some professionals traditionally called upon as expert witnesses in car accident cases include:
- Doctors and physicians
- Physical therapists
- Forensic professionals
- Highway safety experts
- Car accident reconstruction professionals
The Role of Witnesses in Auto Accident Claims
Witnesses are not just important for auto accident cases — their opinions can influence the entire outcome of a case. There are several reasons why witnesses are considered important to auto accident cases, including:
Establishing Fault for Causing the Accident
First off, having witnesses come in can prove that the crash happened in the first place. Insurance adjusters need to know that the claim is not fraudulent, and so do the courts. Witnesses can be vital in establishing the fact that the crash happened and in establishing fault for causing car crashes.
They present the facts as they experienced them which can give vital pieces of information for the proceedings. They can help the courts determine which party caused the accident, where it happened, when the accident occurred, and the events leading up to the accident. Eyewitnesses are typically the people responsible for establishing these facts in auto accident cases.
Proving a Victim’s Injury to the Accident
Even if you were injured in a car accident, insurance adjusters can claim that you did not suffer those injuries due to the accident. They can argue that other factors before or after the accident led to your injuries. Witnesses can be critical in establishing the link between your injuries and the accident. Expert witnesses can also testify on whether the crash resulted in the injuries suffered by the plaintiff in a car accident case.
These days, almost everyone is using their phone to record things in their daily lives. Many people manage to capture car accidents on their smartphones. Photographic or video evidence can be critical in establishing the facts surrounding car accident cases. Furthermore, documentation of the accident can serve as more tangible evidence for car accident cases. The other party’s legal team might be able to make arguments over the legitimacy of the eyewitness accounts if they misremember some of the facts. However, it is difficult to disprove tangible evidence like photos and videos.
How are Expert Witnesses Important?
Calling on expert witnesses in car accident cases is not common, but it does tend to happen. Most car accident cases do not require involving expert witnesses. However, they can sometimes be critical in establishing facts relevant to the outcome of the case.
Suppose that a person suffered severe trauma due to the accident. In that case, a psychologist could be called in as an expert witness to determine whether the crash had a significant psychological impact on the victim.
Consider Contacting Expert Car Accident Lawyers
Getting injured in a car accident can put you through a lot of stress. The trauma, pain, and suffering from being injured in the accident are bad enough — you also have to deal with the mountain of medical bills and other expenses that keep piling up. If your injuries were severe and you cannot return to work, you might also have to face the loss of lost wages.
Making a strong claim for your car accident case is the best chance for you to get adequate compensation for the damages you have suffered. You need all the evidence necessary to make a strong claim and seek financial compensation from your insurance company or to file a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Working with experienced Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers means you can identify the best legal recourse to seek compensation for the losses you have suffered. You can rely on your attorney to help you gather the evidence necessary to make a strong claim. Having credible witnesses to testify in your car accident case can make a world of difference in the outcome.
An experienced car accident lawyer can also take on the task of collecting witness statements that can come in handy when you file a claim with your insurance company or when suing the other driver. They can also ensure that they find reliable witnesses so that they can maximize your chances of getting a positive outcome from your car accident case.
Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer if you have been in a car accident. Their team of experienced car accident lawyers can work with you to build a strong case and maximize your chances of getting fair compensation for the damages you incurred.
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