Witnesses play a vital role in helping victims . However, not everyone understands exactly how important these individuals can be. A witness can make or break your Georgia accident case in ways that you might not appreciate until you have an accident. Working with an automobile accident attorney in Mableton, Georgia, you can use witness testimony to improve your chances of winning.
Immediately after an accident, you may not be thinking about witnesses. If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt, you shouldn’t be. Your first priority is getting the medical attention that you and your passengers need.
As soon as you are able, however, you need to start considering witnesses. Not only can witnesses testify about the at-fault driver’s liability, in some cases they can help identify the driver. This can be a vital step in hit-and-run accidents or those in which the driver denies involvement. For each witness, get his or her name, contact information, and details about what he or she saw.
It’s important to discuss witnesses with your Mableton, Georgia automobile accident attorney. If your witness’s testimony is not reliable, it could do more harm than good. For example, your witness may seem to know precisely how the accident occurred. Perhaps he or she can even describe it step-by-step. But remember, the driver’s attorney gets to question the witness on the stand. If the attorney can poke holes in the testimony, your witness won’t help. A knowledgeable attorney will vet each witness and make sure they will help, not hurt, your case.
Ideally, you won’t even have to go to trial and can settle your Georgia accident case with the driver’s insurance company. A witness can still prove invaluable. Take, for instance, a case in which the insurer is trying to partially blame you for the accident. In Georgia, if you are partly to blame for a crash, your damages may be reduced. If you have a witness who can refute these allegations against you, it will be harder to deny your claims. In other words, the witness can help you in negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement with the insurance company.
The above witnesses are known as fact witnesses. As the term implies, they help establish critical facts in accident cases. These facts, however, do not only concern the actual series of events in your wreck. Witnesses, for example, often testify about the effects of accidents on the victim. This is especially relevant when it comes to establishing the nature of your damages. A witness, such as a family member or friend, can explain to the court how the accident changed your life. Or the witness can testify about your inability to work at the same level as before the accident.
Witnesses may be called against you as well. Take the aforementioned example of a case where you, the victim, are partially to blame for your accident. Again, it will be critical to discuss witnesses with your Mableton, Georgia accident attorney – including those who help the driver. Make sure your lawyer is aware of anyone who could harm your case as much as anyone who can help.
Fact witnesses are one element of a successful automobile accident case. Expert witnesses are another. These are professionals who are trained in certain disciplines that may be relevant to your case. The most common expert witnesses in automobile accident cases are:
- Doctors and other healthcare providers
- Accident reconstructionists
To illustrate the importance of an expert witness, consider an accident victim whose job involves manual labor. A fact witness can relay certain details such as the victim’s struggle to lift heavy objects. But an economist can explain how this and other limitations will affect the victim long-term. That includes quantifying the economic loss the victim has suffered and will suffer. This example shows the interplay of fact and expert witnesses that often exists in accident cases.
Call Schneider Hammers for Help With Your Georgia Accident Case
Fact and expert witnesses are key players in any Georgia accident case. Winning the compensation you deserve requires having an attorney in your corner who knows how best to use witness testimony. You can count on Schneider Hammers to fight for you. Call today to schedule a consultation with us.