The presence or absence of witnesses can make or break a personal injury case. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident, you should try your best to get the people who saw it to be your witnesses. Such people are likely to be strangers so you should be careful when dealing with them since they may not be enthusiastic about getting involved in your case. Here are a few tips to help you get these witnesses' help:
Get Their Full Contact Details
The first step is to get the contact details. Many people know this, but make the mistake of only getting the address or phone numbers of their potential witnesses. That is not very effective because you may fail to reach these people when you need them most.
Instead, you should write everything from full names, home address, work address, cell phone number, and office number – in short you should include as much detail as the person is willing to share. However, don't insist on getting any detail that the person is not willing to give. After all, it isn't your right to get this information, and you don't want to scare them away or turn them against you.
Type up Their Accounts of the Accident if they Seem Cooperative
The next step is to get the details of what they saw, where they were, and what they were doing when the accident occurred. If you are lucky enough to get cooperative witnesses, then you should type up their versions of the incident. Written statements from strange witnesses can be very useful when it comes to dealing with an insurance company.
In fact, to lend more authenticity to their versions of the event, you can type up their statements and ask them to sign it. You don't have to do this on the spot; you can just jot down the major points, type it up later and send it to them for signing.
Don't Push Them When They Seem Uncooperative
Unfortunately, some people aren't comfortable giving their testimonies in accident cases. If your witnesses seem to be uncooperative, then you shouldn't push them or harass them into helping you. If you do that, then you might scare them away and make them disappear forever. Instead, you should just jot down their witnesses' accounts and ask them to sign it.
The thing is, you should try to get a witness to do anything he or she isn't comfortable doing. Even if he or she doesn't want to sign the document, just keep the copy of your notes handy. Some people are shaken up after witnessing such things, and they may change their mind later on after calming down.
At the very least, you should get down the contact details of as many witnesses as possible. An attorney (such as Robert M Kaner Attorney) may contact them later for the rest of the procedure.