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How Witness Credibility Can Affect Your Car Accident Case

One of the best pieces of evidence you can collect in a car accident case is witness testimony.

That being said, they are not perfect and are frequently called into question. The primary way lawyers do so is through assessing witness credibility, which we explain below.

talking after car accident

Why Witnesses Are so Crucial

The most powerful support you can obtain for your case is physical evidence. If you have a video or a compelling accident reconstruction, you will have an excellent shot at compensation. Unfortunately, physical evidence is sometimes hard to find. Instead, the situation becomes your word against the other drivers, with no practical way to turn the tides in your favor. This is where witnesses come in. When you find another person that tells the story of the accident precisely as you do, you can confirm your legitimacy.

How Reliable Are Witness Accounts?

As compelling as witness accounts are, they are not perfect. The reason is that people are flawed and frequently make mistakes. Your witness may have seen the accident wrong. The result is that legal professionals look at the credibility of witnesses before immediately believing their stories.

Factors That Affect Credibility

The following are some of the factors that a lawyer might look at the assess witness credibility. If that attorney argues well enough, the testimony that person gives will be less powerful.

Being Related to a Driver – The best kind of witness is one that is an impartial third party. These types of people will have less bias than somebody more involved. If your witness is a friend of yours, her testimonies will be worth much less.

Being Distracted – The best case scenario is that your witness is sitting on a park bench watching cars go by when your accident takes place. Of course, this does not usually happen. Instead, witnesses often distracted by driving, walking their dog, or taking part in some other activity.

False Memory – A witness might tell what they think is his side of the story, but is actually something they heard from another person in the aftermath of the accident.

Past Behavior – Past legal troubles can call the character of the witness into question.

Sensory Issues – A witness with poor hearing or eyesight might find that the legal system discounts her testimony.

Intoxication – Witnesses that are not sober will fare worse in the legal process.

Memory Issues – Occasionally, a witness will have a memory issue like Alzheimer’s disease. Opposing lawyers will use this information to discount that testimony.

The job of your St. Louis car accident attorney is the compile every piece of information that can help you in your case, then present it in a way that gets you the compensation you deserve. One kind of evidence that you may use is a witness testimony, but it is important to understand that, depending on the witness, credibility can be an issue. No matter what the conditions of your case might be, it is best to consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible following an accident.

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Updated: June 11, 2019