One of the most important things that must be done after there’s been an accident is to ensure the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident and/or who may have been in the area at the time the incident occurred is gathered.
In a personal injury claim, the verbal and/or written declarations of witnesses can be crucial to proving any accident case. The informational testimony that witnesses can provide offer legitimacy while confirming the nature of what really happened during an accident.
If you have been in an accident, you’re likely shaken up a bit, stressed out, experiencing anxiety, and even fear. But if through all that, if you can remember some of the basic principles of collecting witness information, it may prove to benefit you greatly in the future — especially when it comes time to prove you are not at fault for the accident.
Request Witnesses to Describe What They Saw in Detail
Memories of an event — especially a traumatic one — are often fallible, blurry, and short-lived. Therefore, it’s imperative to collect statements from witnesses as soon as possible after an accident has occurred.
Generally, most eyewitnesses are sympathetic to accident cases, and are more than willing to cooperate as best as they can to give you any details they can remember from their perspective. If you cannot speak — or if you are advised by your Phoenix personal injury attorney not to speak — with witnesses directly, hiring a private investigator in Phoenix can be the best way to obtain recorded statements about the accident, what happened in what order, what else may have been going on at the scene, and so on. Statements from eyewitnesses often prove to be invaluable later on when filing your personal injury claim in Arizona.
Pro tip: Be sure to request that the witnesses your investigator speaks to provide the most accurate and detailed description(s) of the events that they are able to remember, including things like car color, any landmarks, descriptions of any other people present on foot, bikes, motorcycles, and other cars.
Attaining the Best Outcome for Your Phoenix Personal Injury Case Requires Accurate Recordkeeping
Another important point to remember is that police reports can often be inaccurate, at least to some degree, and it’s entirely possible that the officer responsible for writing any police report discussing your accident case may have overlooked notation of the important contact information of witnesses.
The best policy in these instances is to contact bystanders as soon as possible after the accident has occurred. This gives you the opportunity to ask for any additional means of contact to ensure that they can be reached for testimony at a later date as needed.
As time goes on, it may become more difficult to track down witnesses during the different stages of a personal injury claim in Phoenix. However, it’s important to be able to contact these critical eyewitnesses as needed to ensure the best possible chance of a favorable recovery, most especially if medical expenditures and recouping lost wages are a concern.
Combining Written Testimony with Digital Images
After written statements from eyewitnesses have been acquired by either yourself or your personal investigator, it will be extremely helpful to supplement your Arizona personal injury claim with digital photographs of the accident scene if such images are available. You, a passenger from your car, or any other able-bodied third-party should take photos at the time of the accident, or as soon as possible afterward.
If possible, set the time stamp function on the camera used to take the photos to the on position — this will help any other litigators as well as the courts see the precise time and date these photos were taken, and that they have not been altered for your benefit, or for any other reason.
You will need to take photos after an accident of any of the following items as well, but only if it can be done so safely:
- Any bodily injuries, including abrasions or lacerations
- Damaged clothing and/or personal property
- The accident scene and surrounding area
- If showable, the cause of the accident
Pro tip: As you move through the process of obtaining photographs, remember, bruises can oftentimes take several days to show up.
A proficient and dedicated personal injury attorney in Phoenix can help to ensure that this newly obtained photographic evidence works on your behalf if you have been injured in an accident due to the carelessness of another person.
Your personal injury accident case is far stronger when you can utilize both complete eyewitness testimony along with their written and recorded statements combined with as many digital images as possible. With these elements in place, your chances of achieving a positive recovery and a settlement commensurate with what you deserve for your pain and suffering is much higher than it would be with just your testimony alone.
Waiting Around is the Enemy of a Successful Personal Injury Case
If you have been in an accident, we understand, you’re tired, you’re sore, and you likely have several doctor’s appointments to get to. But you cannot allow your accident claim to take a backseat to what’s going on in your life, as this shows the legal team of the person who hit you or who caused the accident that it isn’t that important to you, or that you must not have been that badly injured. Taking immediate action by:
- Hiring a personal injury attorney
- Hiring a private investigator as needed for eyewitness testimony
- Obtain said witness testimony
- Take photographs
- Get x-rays and/or any other imaging that shows damage done to your body during the accident
Finding a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney in Phoenix
Lastly, it’s important to find an experienced personal injury attorney whom you feel you can place your trust in — one with whom you feel you can comfortably disclose your truthful testimony. Accuracy in all phases of the personal injury claim process can expedite the progression of your accident claim and help you reach a faster settlement, allowing you and your loved ones to reclaim your lives, and put the accident in the past behind you.
Certainly, it’s not something anyone wants to experience, but finding a good personal injury attorney who specializes in auto accident claims, and who you can trust with your case will ease all of the valid concerns you may currently have.
Contact the Hutzler Law Firm today for a focused and experienced Phoenix personal injury law firm in Phoenix, Arizona. For your completely free legal consultation, give our caring staff a call by dialing 602.730.4530 right away.