Common Questions to Ask a Car Accident Witness
February 14, 2023
Eyewitnesses can offer testimony that can give your case the support it needs to be successful. The information a witness provides can shed light on how the crash occurred and give the insurers and jurors insight into the incident.
Learning what you should ask a car accident witness can help you understand the process involved in litigating your claim and allow you to identify potential witnesses after a crash. At Zanes Law, our team wants to provide the information you need to recover from a collision, which is why we’d like to discuss the common questions to ask car accident witnesses.
Where Were You When the Collision Occurred?
While some witnesses are only a few yards away when a collision occurs, others may be in a nearby building or around a street corner, unable to see the incident clearly. When trying to find witnesses after an accident, you should always favor those who had a clear view of the scene at the time of the crash.
While witnesses who were further away from the scene can offer some testimony that may be valuable to your claim, it’s always best to use witnesses who can describe the incident in detail.
If you had a passenger in your vehicle at the time of the crash, they could make a good witness. However, it’s always helpful to ask parties who weren’t directly involved in the incident if they could provide testimony, as they likely won’t have a conflict of interest.
For a free legal consultation, call 866-499-8989
What did You See and Hear?
One of the most common car accident witness questions is, “what did you see or hear when the accident occurred.” This is an important question because a witness’s testimony is based on their direct observation of the crash.
A good witness will be able to provide detailed explanations about the following elements of your collision:
- Which lanes the vehicles were in
- How many vehicles were involved in the crash
- Sounds they heard when the accident occurred
- Who or what they believe caused the accident
When trying to find witnesses for your case, always ask potential witnesses to describe the visual and audible details they recall from the accident. The more vivid details a potential witness remembers, the more likely they’ll be able to provide the testimony you need to settle your claim or win your lawsuit.
Was the Other Motorist Driving Recklessly?
In addition to relaying how many vehicles were involved in the accident and what sounds they heard, an ideal witness will be able to speak to the other driver’s behavior leading up to the crash. When interviewing a potential car accident witness, make sure to ask them the following questions about the other driver:
- Were they speeding?
- Were they swerving or driving recklessly?
- Were they distracted, looking at their cell phone, or talking on the phone?
- Did they seem intoxicated?
- Did they seem fatigued?
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, speeding, reckless driving, and intoxicated driving are major safety issues in Arizona. If an eyewitness observed that the other motorist was driving unsafely, their testimony might be helpful to your case.
Did You Hear the Other Driver Say Anything About the Collision?
In the immediate aftermath of a crash, drivers may comment on the accident and even admit fault. If a witness heard a driver apologize for causing the accident, comment on what caused the crash, or say anything else that may be used in a claim, their testimony will be valuable to your case.
Can You Write Down or Draw What You Saw?
When questioning potential witnesses after a car accident, you’ll also want to ask if the witness can draw a diagram of the collision or write down a list of things they remember from the crash.
Their drawing of the accident doesn’t have to be detailed. As long as it conveys the positioning of the vehicles at the time of the crash, it can be helpful to your case. Once the witness has sketched or written down what they saw, ask them if they could sign it.
Having the witness’s signature on their written testimony will prove to insurers or jurors that it’s a legitimate document and not something that was forged to add false credibility to your claim.
What did the Drivers do Immediately After the Collision?
This is another common question to ask when interviewing a car accident witness. Having eyewitness testimony regarding what the parties involved in the accident did directly after the collision can be valuable to your claim.
If a witness recalls that you didn’t get out of your car right after the crash, that information can be used to prove that you were injured and temporarily unable to move. If a witness remembers seeing you limping, in pain or otherwise injured, it can be even more helpful to your case.
If the other driver claims that they were injured in the accident, a witness may be able to confirm or deny their health directly after the crash. If the other driver immediately exited their vehicle and seemed fine, a witness’s testimony can help to disprove phony injury claims.
Can I Take Down Your Contact Information?
If a potential car accident witness offers detailed and helpful answers to the abovementioned questions, you’ll want to take down their information. Your attorney may want to interview them later or call them to the stand during your trial.
Make sure to ask the witness if they’d be comfortable giving testimony about your case at a later date and if you can take down their name and phone number. Then, you can give their information to your attorney, who can contact them for further help.
Click to contact our personal injury lawyers today
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer
Familiarizing yourself with the common questions to ask car accident witnesses can help you find the right eyewitness for your case. However, the injuries or shock from your collision might make it hard for you to interview potential witnesses right after the crash.
If you can at least take down a few witnesses’ names and phone numbers, a car accident attorney from our firm can interview them and decide if their testimony can be used for your case. Contact Zanes Law today to get the legal assistance you need to build a strong claim or lawsuit.