The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office have handled thousands of traffic accident cases over the past 23 years, and one of the most crucial elements of a significant number of personal injury claims is witness testimony. It all starts at the accident scene. In most car accidents both drivers are going to have different stories about what happened without either driver admitting fault. This scenario is especially prevalent in truck accidents where a truck driver’s job is at stake if he is found at fault in a traffic accident. Most big trucks will not even stop, and if they do stop after an accident, they never admit fault. If an injured party is involved in an accident with any other vehicle, it is imperative that the injured party as soon as he can locate any witnesses to the accident. If two parties to an accident have two different stories and there are no credible witnesses on behalf of either party, then any injured party to the accident will not be able to collect for any of his property or personal injury damages from the other party. If the injured party locates a witness, it is very important to get as much contact information on the witness as is possible. Obtaining just a name and phone number can be calamitous if the number ends up being disconnected shortly after the accident, and there is no other identifying information on the witness making it impossible to find the witness. The injured party should try to get a name, address, all phone numbers and if possible the witnesses driver’s license information.
Once this information is obtained it is important to give it to the police officer at the scene if the witness does not stick around to talk to the police. This way the witness information appears on the police report. Failure to get the witness information on the report will invariably lead to the at fault party’s insurance company stating they will not consider the witness in their investigation of the injured party’s personal injury claim. We know that the fact that the witness is not on the police report does not mean that the witness did not see the accident. However the insurance company is looking for any way to deny a claim, and this excuse is one fo their favorites. We will file a lawsuit under theses circumstances and get the witness’s statement but this does not get the case resolved as quickly as possible which is the goal without sacrificing any value in the case. The best case scenario is to convince the witness to stay at the scene of the accident to give their take on the accident directly to the officer.