Many people associate the gathering of witnesses with a crime scene and the task is carried out by the police. However, witnesses can be very useful when a personal injury is suffered, such as in a road traffic accident. Generally, it is the person involved who is responsible for gathering witness names and addresses together.
The reason for identifying witnesses and obtaining their contact details is very simple; in order to be able to claim compensation it is necessary to be able to prove you were not the cause of the incident or injury, in this case, the road traffic accident. Witness statements are likely to prove invaluable, particularly if the compensation claim is contested.
The importance of gathering witness names and addresses
It is essential to take the names and addresses of witnesses, even if the other driver admits liability at the time of the accident. Many insurance providers insist that if an admission of fault is made the policy will be invalidated. As a result, it is not unusual for roadside admissions to be withdrawn by the time it comes to contacting the insurance company.
It is especially important to gather the names and addresses of witnesses who are completely independent and who do not know you or the other driver. Because they can only state what they saw their statements could prove crucial in explaining who the blame lay with and confirm that the accident was not your fault.
How witness statements are used to back your compensation claim
Anyone suffering a personal injury in a road traffic accident is strongly advised to seek legal representation. We have the legal and medical expertise to help with any claim for compensation.
Supplying the names and addresses of the people who saw the accident will help us build the strongest possible case on your behalf. This will be crucial, especially if the claim is contested and goes to court.
What else you will need to do at the scene of the accident
It is very important that you remain at the scene of the accident; the police should also be called. Take a note of the name and number of the investigating officer; his report on the accident will provide vital evidence, which could back your compensation claim.
You should also exchange insurance details with the other driver and if you have a camera phone take pictures of the damage to both your car and any other vehicle involved. This can help demonstrate where the vehicles were at the point of impact and give added proof that you were not to blame.
See a doctor
You should visit a doctor as soon after the accident as possible, even if you do not believe you have suffered any injuries. The medical examination and doctor’s notes will provide important additional evidence for our legal and medical experts as they prepare your claim.
What is the cost of seeking legal assistance?
You need not concern yourself with being left out of pocket when using our services; we will represent you on a no win no fee* basis. In other words, if your claim is unsuccessful you will not be responsible for paying any fees.
Date Published: August 13, 2013
Author: David Brown