How to Conduct an Effective Witness Interview After an Accident
In the aftermath of an auto accident, witnesses can be a key factor in determining who was at fault. However, conducting an effective witness interview is not as easy as it may seem. Here are a few things to remember to improve the odds of winning your case.
The first step to gathering key witness information is reaching out to all known witnesses. Do not assume that just because someone saw the accident, they will come forward. If no one is seriously injured, it is important to make contact with any surrounding witnesses as quickly as possible. At the very least, you should take down phone numbers and contact information of your witnesses so you can follow up with them later.
Get Just the Facts
This part can get a bit tricky. Ultimately, the goal is to record everything that your witness personally saw or heard. Anything else could potentially be labeled as “hearsay” and deemed inadmissible as evidence, so do not ask your witness to speculate anything that they do not know as a fact. Try to phrase your questions to elicit just the facts. For example, “did you see this car run a red light?” is a more effective question than “what did you see?”
When you’re interviewing your witness, don’t forget to ask about the smaller details. What was the weather like? Was there heavy traffic? Were there slopes or bumps on the road? All of this information could come in handy later.
Car accidents are stressful and unfortunately, the accident itself is often just the beginning. With proper preparation and persistence, you can get the most out of a witness interview. If you need assistance putting a case together or pursuing compensation for your injuries, contact accident attorney Dan Simon at (702) 364-1650 for a free consultation.
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