Questions to Ask a Car Accident Witness
Whether you’ve been in one or witnessed one, car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence. With the hustle and bustle of traffic, a large percentage of accidents happen along busy intersections or roads where witnesses may be present. If you have been involved in a car accident it’s a good idea to seek out as many witnesses as you can. While not all of them will have valuable information, anything can help when filing a claim with your insurance.
Every situation differs when a car accident occurs, but if you are able to speak with a witness there are a few basic questions to have ready to help all parties better understand what happened.
Where were they?
When talking with a witness to see if they can provide any valuable information, you want to ask if they were in a position to accurately describe what happened. Ask them where they were in relation to the accident and if they saw what happened from all angles. Ask what driver they were closest to and what direction they were headed in.
What did they see?
You’ll want to know, in their own words, what the witness saw. Ask them to explain everything they saw happen before, during, and after the car accident. Ask if they saw any outside factors that they think could have contributed to the accident. Be careful when wording this question as you don’t want the witness to think you are fishing for something and become defensive or hesitant to help.
Could you describe the general position of each car prior to the accident, i.e. who was in what lane?
Did you see either vehicle serving or moving erratically?
Could you determine how fast the vehicles were traveling, i.e. did any of the drivers appear to be speeding?
Did they see what caused the accident?
After asking them to explain what exactly they saw, ask if they are able to confidently say what/who caused the accident. Ask them what they were doing right before the accident to see if their undivided attention was on the accident right when it happened. Finding this out can also help you better understand what led to the accident.
Did you notice the traffic signals just before the accident? Did either driver run a red light or speed through a yellow light at an unsafe speed?
Did you observe any other kind of traffic infraction, such as an improper lane change or an illegal U-turn?
Can they provide their contact information?
After talking with the witness, you should ask to take down their contact information. Even if you get everything you think you might need from a witness at the scene of the accident, there could be a need for additional follow-up in the future. For example, your lawyer or insurance company may want confirmation of the witness’ account.
Did they see any other witnesses?
Ideally, you want as many witnesses as possible to help recall exactly what occurred. While you may not know what the surroundings looked like during the accident, a witness could point you in the direction of someone who was walking nearby or sitting on a bench. Getting accounts from people who witnessed what happened at different angles can really help put the whole event into perspective for you and the other person involved in the accident.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN and get the help you need! We will refer you to the attorneys that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve and the medical attention you need. If you have been hurt in an accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN, and we will guide you in finding you the best medical and legal professionals.