ACCIDENT SCENE WITNESSES ARE IMPORTANT AND SHOULD COOPERATE
In many of our cases, there is a dispute about how the accident happened: Which car ran the red light? What did our client trip on? Who was in the intersection first? Sometimes one of the parties misremembers, and sometimes they just lie because they don’t want to admit they were at fault, or are concerned that their insurance rate will go up, or that some other consequence will befall them for causing an accident and injuring someone.
In these situations, witnesses can be very important. Unfortunately, our injury lawyers frequently come across people who “don’t want to get involved.” The biggest concern these people have is that it will be an inconvenience to them to take time to talk to a lawyer or investigator, and that they don’t want to be called into court as a witness to say what they saw.
The consequence to our clients, of course, can be significant. When someone is injured in an accident, there are often medical bills that are not covered by their own insurance, missed time from work, and other losses. It saddens us when an accident witness tries to avoid taking the time to say what they saw, putting a minor convenience they might experience ahead of a potentially significant need for help by an injured person whose life has been altered because of the accident.
If you are a witness to an accident, please stay and tell the police what you saw, give your name and number to the police and the parties involved, and cooperate in the process to resolve any disputes. It really doesn’t take much time, these cases rarely go to court, and you will be helping people in a moment of need. Plus, of course, you would want people to do the same for you if you were in that situation.