No one plans on getting into a car accident, but accidents happen every day. California is famous for its car culture, with people needing an automobile to do just about everything. The lack of a reliable public transportation system means that most people in the state have to rely on their cars to get to where they need to go. Unfortunately, more people on the road leads to more accidents on the road.
If you do get into a car accident, you’ll want to make sure that you have the necessary information in case you decide to pursue legal action. One critical task you need to manage is collecting any witness accounts of what happened. Having these accounts on the record may make it easier for you to prove any claims you intend to file, and statements from witnesses can make assigning liability easier. You should consult with a skilled car accident attorney who can help you with your car accident claim.
4 Questions You Should Ask the Witnesses of Your California Car Accident
After an accident, you might notice bystanders or others who just saw the accident take place. The following are four questions that you should ask the witnesses of your California car accident:
Where Were You Positioned When the Car Accident Took Place?
Your goal here is to establish where the witness was located when the accident took place. Having this information may make it easier to reconstruct the scene while also confirming the reliability of the witness’s account. Ask your witnesses to be as specific as possible, and sketch out their locations if you can. Find out if they were in a car as well or if they were a pedestrian walking by on the street. This information will be helpful in figuring out if they had a good vantage point as the accident unfolded.
Are You Connected in Any Way to Any of the People Involved in the Accident?
It’s important that you find out if the witness has any connection to anyone involved in the accident in any way. The answer you get could spare you from serious issues down the road. If it turns out that the witness has a prior relationship with or is connected to someone involved in the accident, they might be biased when they recount the incident.
Were You Able to See the Accident Unfold, or Were You Only Able to See the Aftermath?
Seeing the accident as it happened and seeing the aftermath are two different things, but both types of eyewitness accounts can be helpful. If the witness saw the actual accident, ask them to describe as much of it as they can. If they only saw the aftermath, ask them to try and remember any key details. The aftermath of an accident can provide a lot of useful information, including how people behaved afterward, whether or not someone attempted to leave the scene, if anyone appeared hurt, how the accident victims behaved, etc.
Was Your View of the Accident Obstructed by Anything?
Ask the witness if anything was blocking their view during or after the accident. You don’t want to find out later that the witness could not have seen what they thought they saw because an object was blocking their view. Have the witness tell you what they saw, but make sure that they don’t leave anything out.
Contact an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer at Setareh Law
At Setareh Law, we know that car accident can be devastating. Victims have a lot on their minds as they navigate and contend with the aftermath of an accident. As tough as it may be, you should try to obtain witness statements immediately following the accident. Doing this may make all the difference in the outcome of any claims you decide to file.
Daniel Setareh speaks Spanish and English, and he has years of experience handling car accident cases. He wants to help you with your case. Call (310) 659-1826 if you have any questions, or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.