The first 100 hours of your accident are extremely important in setting up your personal injury case. This is when witness information after an accident can start to disappear. The most important thing for you after an accident if you’re injured is seek medical treatment. Another important thing to do is call the police, that way they can collect witness information for you.
Call the Police to Get Witness Information
If you are still at the scene of the accident, call the police while you’re at the scene of the accident. The police of sheriff can collect the following information, including much more, for their report:
- your information
- other side’s information
- insurance information
- witness information
- vehicle code information (including violations)
The police or sheriff can go around gathering this information for you. Then you can obtain a copy of the traffic collision report and that information may be there neatly organized for you or your attorney to use for your case.
Other Ways of Obtaining Witness Information After an Accident
It’s very important to go and gather witness information after an accident. Some people might approach you right after the accident, or you can approach them. You should collect the following information from them after an accident:
- telephone number
- email address
- what they saw
You can even pull out your phone and just start recording them (obviously ask for permission first) and say, “Do I have permission to record you? Please tell me how the accident happened.”
Importance of Witness Information
Gathering witness information can make your case a lot easier to prove your case down the line. You can have the witness to support your side of the story. A lot of the times what happens is the case turns into a “he said she said” case.
The other driver might also start switching their story. For example, they might come out of the car saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I really shouldn’t have done that. I ran the red light.” The other driver down the line might switch their story and say, “Oh well you’re actually the one that ran the red light. I didn’t run the red light.” This happens time and again. But when there are witnesses to support your story that it makes it much more difficult if not impossible for the other driver to start switching their words. If they do you, can point them out to be a liar which is good for your case.
Witnesses May Start to Disappear
At first witnesses may want to help. Then witnesses start to become flaky. So it’s important to get their information right at the accident scene if you can. Witnesses also start to get intimidated by the process. When an attorney gets involved then witnesses can start to get a little bit intimidated by it. This is even though they should get involved and many times are legally obligated to give witness statements.