Durham Car Accident Witness Attorneys
Providing Guidance Post-Car Accident
Car accidents happen every day and result from a host of different causes. They occur
without warning, leaving behind them congested traffic and
property damage, as well as physical and emotional injuries. All too often, the mechanisms
of car accidents are disputed since only the two drivers involved are
available to offer their personal recollections of how the accident happened.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident by the negligence of another
driver, you might find yourself in a tough spot if the other driver accuses
you of negligent conduct. In such a situation, the accident mechanics
become unclear as the conversation devolves into a “he-said, she-said”
free-for-all. When this occurs, your right to recovery is called into
question, and you will do well to engage every resource available to you.
One of these valuable resources is a written statement from an eyewitness.
Wallace Pierce Law today at
(919) 887-7892, or
contact us online for a free consultation. Our Durham attorneys can help you gather the
evidence you need after a car accident.
FAQs Regarding Witnesses After an Accident
Why do I need a witness statement?
North Carolina is one of four states that still recognize the doctrine
of “contributory negligence.” This means that if you are partially responsible for causing an
accident — if you bear even one percent of the fault — your
right to recovery is barred completely.
Contributory negligence is the best friend of insurance adjusters in North
Carolina, because any argument they can make for holding you partially
responsible for the accident – no matter how small or attenuated
– allows them to deny your claim completely. These denials are often
predicated upon an allegation by the at-fault driver that the victim shared
fault by doing something like speeding, following too closely, or becoming
distracted while driving. In order to overcome a potential denial based
upon an accusation of contributory negligence, you will need to establish
that you shared no fault in causing the accident. Having one or more written
eyewitness statements can go a long way toward clearing your name and
maximizing your chances at recovery.
How do I find witnesses?
It’s important to determine who witnessed the accident as soon as
possible after it occurs. This is because these witnesses possess information
that could prove crucial in the insurance provider’s disposition
of your claim; and most witnesses will only stop for a short time, if
at all. Additionally, you should assume that the at-fault driver’s
insurance provider will waste no time in reaching out to every witness
they can find. For these reasons, it will be in your best interest to
speak with any witnesses at the scene of the accident, if you’re
able to do so without causing further injury to yourself. Make sure to
do whatever you can to immediately identify any witnesses and record their
contact information by writing it down or putting it in your cell phone.
Don’t assume that other drivers are the only potential witnesses.
Traditionally, some of the best witnesses can be workers or customers
at nearby businesses, homeowners living close to the scene of the accident,
or road/utility workers near the scene. If it takes walking into businesses
or knocking on doors, do it. One good witness can make the difference
between recovery and having your claim denied. If you are badly injured,
ask someone at the scene to gather information for you. Once the witness
leaves the scene, he or she is often gone forever, so act fast.