Key points of this article:
- Eyewitness accounts from unbiased witnesses are crucial for shedding light on the sequence of events in a car accident and determining fault and liability.
- Questions to ask a witness of a car accident should establish the witness’s position, get details on external factors like weather and road conditions, and uncover any traffic violations observed.
- Having a reliable eyewitness and an experienced car accident attorney on your side are great assets when seeking legal results after a car crash.
Car accidents are often chaotic events that leave those involved feeling overwhelmed and unclear on the small important details about exactly what happened. That’s why witnesses to the accident that might emerge are so important as they help shed light on the sequence of events that transpired without bias. These eyewitness accounts can be the thing that determines fault, liability, and how your legal case pans out.
Getting the most accurate story from an eyewitness is your goal, and there are pivotal questions you need to ask a witness of a car accident to get the most comprehensive and reliable witness statement.
10 Questions to Ask a Witness of a Car Accident
In your own words – can you explain what you saw concerning the accident?
This question might be the most important as it invites the car accident witness to narrate the events using their own perspective and language. This question isn’t leading them into taking a certain side or bringing emotions into their answer. Ultimately, asking witnesses to recount the accident in their own words gives authenticity and depth to their account, giving a less biased account than someone who is involved.
Where were you in relation to the accident?
This question is important as it establishes the witness’s position and vantage point in relation to the collision. Knowing their location at the time of the accident gives context to their observations and perceptions. Whether they were a pedestrian or another motorist, knowing their position helps assess the accuracy and reliability of their account.
Can you describe what the weather and road conditions were before and during the accident?
This question can help get a picture of any external factors that may have contributed to the accident. This context could help support or dispute any claims made by those involved in the accident.
Did you see any traffic violations occur?
Traffic violations can play a significant role in determining fault between the parties. Their answer could provide crucial details related to the conduct of those involved. Violations such as failure to yield, running a red light, or reckless driving can all play major roles in an accident. Having any such violations documented is a key element in establishing liability.
Did you observe anyone talking or texting on their phone?
As many as 3,211 accidents a year are due to distracted driving – talking on a cell phone, texting, interacting with music apps or GPS are just a few examples of how our phones can distract us. Getting an eyewitness account of any possible phone use can also help establish liability.
Have you witnessed previous accidents at this location?
This question gets to the witness’s familiarity with the accident location and its history. This layer of insight can provide information about the location such as the factors that might explain why it’s accident-prone such as poor visibility, inadequate signage, or other environmental factors that could clarify liability.
Did you notice any mechanical issues?
This question seeks to identify any technical failures that may have contributed to the accident. These issues could include tire blowouts, brake malfunction, or other mechanical issues.
Did you notice any issues with the road?
Public roads get a lot of wear and tear, and sometimes this wear and tear can lead to an accident. The presence of a pothole, debris in the road, or a nearby construction crew can all contribute to issues with the road that may have played a role.
Did you hear those involved say anything after the accident?
In the aftermath of an accident, those involved may have their guard down and say something about their involvement without thinking about the implications. They may mention their speed or not paying attention. In this case, that information heard from a reliable witness can affect the outcome of any legal proceedings.
Is there anything else you can think of that might be important?
End with an open-ended question like this to see if another detail just occurred to them that they failed to mention earlier.
Rhoads & Rhoads – Kentucky Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been in a car accident, one of your greatest assets is having a reliable witness in your corner, and knowing the questions to ask a witness of a car accident is invaluable. It’s also a great asset to have a good lawyer in that corner as well.
At Rhoads & Rhoads, our car accident lawyers have years of experience in helping victims of car accidents get the results they want in any legal proceedings. If you’ve been in an accident or if you witness a car accident and need our expertise, contact our experts today at 888-709-9329 for your free case review and get back on the road to recovery.