Do You Need To Gather Witnesses After a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Car accidents can be traumatic and stressful experiences to endure. As a victim of a car accident, your head might be spinning, and you might not know what to do next. You probably know that you will speak with medical professionals, police officers, and other drivers involved in the accident. You may not be aware that you should also look around for witnesses who saw the accident.
After a car accident, gathering witnesses can be a crucial means to help you get compensation for the accident. Whether you are fighting with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit, witnesses can serve as unbiased third parties who saw the accident and can explain what happened. A clear understanding of the facts will help connect your injuries to the accident and help you get compensation.
If you have been in a car accident, contact the Boston car accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. Call us for a free case review at (617) 925-6407.
Why Do I Need to Find Witnesses Following a Massachusetts Car Accident?
The first question after a car accident is frequently, “What happened?” People involved in the accident can give their version of events, but they lack the objectivity of bystanders. Therefore, having a witness in an accident can establish a third-party narrative of the accident and support claims of what each driver did.
Witnesses are frequently crucial in covering gaps in facts and providing a clear picture of what occurred. They can provide details of the situation that may not have been known or that the drivers cannot remember. In cases where the drivers are arguing over what happened, a witness can corroborate portions of the driver’s perspective that they also saw. A witness can be invaluable when creating a clear record of the facts surrounding an accident.
Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, insurance companies will not focus on which driver was at fault in the accident. However, fault is frequently the main issue in car accident lawsuits, and witnesses can be key in determining who was at fault. When both drivers point fingers at each other, a witness serves as an unbiased third party who can support negligence claims. Our Cambridge car accident lawyers can determine which facts support fault finding in a car accident and help find witnesses to testify to those facts.
How to Find Witnesses After a Car Accident in Massachusetts
Some witnesses are easy to find and identify since they are present after the accident. Other witnesses may require some detective work to track down.
After an accident, you will likely see bystanders watching the scene. Especially in areas with many pedestrians, there may be a crowd. This is a great starting place to find witnesses. You can approach the bystanders and ask if any saw the accident occur and collect their contact information if so. You should also look for nearby businesses. It is possible that an employee of a local business saw the accident happen, particularly if there is a glass storefront.
Speaking to potential witnesses directly after an accident is not always an option. If your medical needs require immediate treatment, those should be your priority. There are several ways to track down witnesses after the accident scene has been cleared and crowds have dispersed. While you could not speak to bystanders after the accident, the police likely did. You can request a copy of their police report and see if any witness information was recorded.
Additionally, social media can be a particular help when soliciting witnesses. Neighborhood groups for the location where your accident occurred provide a way to post a message that can reach people in the vicinity and ask witnesses to reach out to you. Our Chelsea car accident lawyers can help brainstorm additional ways to reach witnesses that can help your case.
What to Ask When Speaking to a Witness After a Massachusetts Car Accident
When you initially reach out to collect witnesses for your case, you do not have to question each person extensively. Our Fall Rivers car accident lawyers can speak to witnesses and further determine what they know and if they will be useful to your case. However, you will want to get some basic information.
First, you should ask the witness what parts of the accident they saw. Facts about things before, during, and after the accident could all potentially be in dispute in a lawsuit, so there is no need to rule out any witnesses at this point. Simply finding out what they saw is useful. If the witness agrees, recording a voice memo or a video of the witness describing what happened is a good idea that reduces any later confusion or misremembering.
You should also collect the person’s name and contact information and ask for consent to reach out to them in the future. Once our Waltham, MA car accident lawyers have reviewed your case, we can determine which witnesses are needed and reach out for further action. Witnesses may need to sign an affidavit attesting to what they saw, or they may need to attend a trial if your car accident lawsuit requires a hearing.
Can an Attorney Help Me Find Witnesses After a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Our Glouchester car accident attorneys can assist in every step of a lawsuit. We can help figure out ways to contact witnesses after an accident, we can reach out to witnesses who are listed on a police report, and we can parse through witness information that you have already collected. We can also issue subpoenas to force an uncooperative witness to attend a deposition if necessary. Witnesses can be a key part of resolving disputes from a car accident, and a Reading, MA car accident lawyer can curate witnesses to support your case best.
Let Our Massachusetts Car Accident Attorneys Help You Today
The Lynn car accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan can help you get fair compensation following an accident. Call (617) 925-6407 today for a free case review.