In the aftermath of a car accident, having a credible eyewitness can significantly impact your claim. An eyewitness account that aligns with your version of events holds sway with the police, insurance companies, and the court system. But what if the witness’s account contradicts your story? Or what if the witness lacks credibility? What determines the believability of a witness?

Let us delve into the topic of witness credibility and how it could potentially shape the trajectory of your car accident compensation claim in California. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.

The Significance of Witnesses in Car Accident Cases

In numerous car accidents, the only witnesses are the drivers involved. For instance, if your accident occurred on a desolate mountain road during the night, it is unlikely there were other witnesses. Conversely, an accident during the bustling rush hour on the LAX could potentially have hundreds of witnesses, each with their unique perspectives.

Witnesses play a critical role in car accidents as they are typically perceived as unbiased third parties. Ideally, they are not involved in the accident, they are not acquainted with you, and they do not have a reason to favor one party over another. However, witnesses may lack credibility due to various reasons. Depending on their credibility, you may or may not want a witness to participate in your case.

Factors Affecting Witness Credibility

Several elements influence a witness’s credibility. Primarily, it depends on whether they were physically present at the accident scene and observed the event firsthand. Occasionally, individuals claim to have witnessed an accident when in reality they did not, perhaps out of reluctance to admit they were not attentive or due to an ill-conceived desire to assist.

Distractions are another factor. Since witnesses do not anticipate accidents, they might not be wholly focused on their surroundings. Were they preoccupied with their kids in the car? Were they pedestrians absorbed in music through their earphones?

Physical health is also significant. For instance, if someone with poor eyesight was not wearing glasses during the accident, their testimony becomes less credible. Similarly, a history of confusion or memory problems makes their account less reliable.

Was the witness intoxicated? Had they been consuming alcohol or using drugs at the time of the accident?

Bias and manipulation also come into play. A passenger related to or friends with the driver may naturally want to aid their loved ones, which could affect your case. Furthermore, there is the concern of witnesses being influenced or coerced by others involved in the accident. If you suspect this might be the case, it is important to communicate these suspicions to your lawyer for further inquiry.

Lastly, the credibility of a witness is influenced by their character and background. A history of felony convictions or a reputation for dishonesty can play a crucial role in assessing credibility.

Collaborating With Your Lawyer on Witness Credibility

An ideal witness is a neutral party offering an impartial account to the police and investigators, and preferably, their statement supports your case.

It is crucial never to try to sway a witness, request altered testimonies, or discourage them from testifying, as this could put you at risk legally. Such actions fall under the category of witness tampering, a crime under the California penal code.

Collaborate closely with your lawyer to understand the implications of witness testimony. If a witness’s statement contradicts your narrative, remember there are other types of evidence that can support your claim, such as dashcam footage, surveillance videos, police reports, and expert testimonies.

At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, we empathize with individuals injured in traffic accidents. Contact us for a complimentary consultation about your accident, and we will help you understand how witness credibility might impact your case.

Let Us Handle Your Personal Injury Claim While You Concentrate on Your Life

Post an injury, the attorneys at Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas are here to help. We handle various areas of law, including car accidents. We firmly believe you should focus on your recovery while we manage the legal particulars. We are ready to provide a free legal consultation.