The one thing that can truly determine whether a case is won or lost is the number and quality of the witnesses who are questioned. The problem with gathering witnesses is that many people simply forget to do this unless they know the witnesses personally. The stress and anxiety created during many events, such as injuries, often clouds a person’s judgment and results in them not remembering to gather witnesses until most of them have been lost. People should follow a few rules when gathering witnesses, and each rule ensures these individuals can be located at a moment’s notice.
1) Strangers as Witnesses
The close proximity of most towns and cities means there is at least two people near one another at any given time. If these people are not known to an injured person they may be overlooked as a witness, but this should not be the case. When approaching a stranger to retain them as a witness individuals should gather:
- Personal Information – This type of information is vital to connecting with the witness once the two parties have parted ways. Relevant information to gather includes names, phone numbers and addresses.
- Potential Cooperation – Victims should also note whether the individuals seems cooperative and as though they’re willing to testify on the behalf of the victim. All personal information should be taken regardless of the result because some witnesses may be required to appear by the court.
- What Was Witnessed – Victims should make a small note about what it was that the witness actually saw. By gathering this information from multiple people victims are more likely to get a clear idea of what occurred outside their own viewpoint.
2) Known Witnesses
When a person knows a witness they are far more likely to get a full account of what happened from the witness’s point of view. These individuals should be put in contact with the victim’s attorney as soon as possible so they can recount what they saw and the attorney can begin developing a case.
3) Expert Witnesses
One vital witness that may not even have seen the events take place is known as an expert witness. These individuals are often professionals in a certain field and can attest to the accuracy of the events as recounted by the victim or other witnesses. Some examples of these individuals include:
- Traffic Experts – These individuals have studied vehicle accidents in-depth and know what an outcome should be without even seeing the actual result. Bringing in these experts ensures a distorted view of the accident doesn’t take hold in the courtroom.
- Medical Experts – Injury cases often involve medical experts because these professionals can assess the true cause of an injury. Victims can help prove their case by utilizing this type of witness to prove the defendant’s actions or neglect led to the injury the plaintiff is claiming.
Get Help with Witnesses
If you have been injured, it’s best for you to begin gathering witnesses right away. However, a personal injury attorney can help you assess the value of each witness and help you find more witnesses if need be. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713.766.5400.
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