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After being involved in an accident, it can be difficult for victims to understand exactly what happened during that incident. This means that producing an accurate account of the events will often require the testimony of witnesses, especially if there is any disagreement over what exactly happened — and who’s to blame.

If you’ve been injured in a Texas car or truck accident, you may need to find a neutral witness to give a description of what occurred during your crash in order to prove that you deserve compensation. Read on to learn more about finding a credible witness from our experienced Houston auto accident attorneys.

Is Credibility Important?

The likelihood that you will be able to prove a claim for compensation after an accident depends on your ability to produce convincing witness testimony, and present evidence and documentation that back up your claim.

While family members present at the scene offer important collaboration for accident descriptions, neutral parties that have no stake in the matter are much more credible when it comes to seeking compensation. A neutral party’s testimony is considered the unbiased truth.

What Factors Affect Credibility?

If there is a dispute over the fault of an accident, insurance companies are likely to look for any way they can contradict and discredit the description of the events that makes them liable for the claim.

If your settlement depends upon the credibility of your witness, then you should be certain that your eyewitness is honest and an asset to your case. Below, you can find a few key factors that will affect the credibility of your potential witness.

Relation to the Victim

Insurance companies may use a relationship between the victim and their witness in order to weaken or discredit the witness testimony. The court may assume the witness is testifying in your favor because they want you to win or because they stand to benefit from the settlement.

Mentality and History

Officers and other witnesses at the scene may notice if a witness was clear-headed when giving their account of the incident. A witness’ ability to recall certain details without difficulty and whether they were distracted by other events taking place are also likely to be noted.

The attorney for the defense will vet the background of each witness, and if drugs or alcohol are previously recorded, then the witness’ credibility is likely to be challenged. The same goes for hearing loss, vision impairment, and even mobility.

Consistency

If the witness’ detailed account remains the same from start to finish, their credibility is harder to discredit. Usually, there are discrepancies or conflicts between the accounts of the drivers involved. The more accurate version will be supported by the third-party witness.

Car accidents can be confusing and chaotic, and the court accepts that there may be a certain amount of confusion translated into any witness testimony of the event. The key to proving the credibility of testimony covering chaotic events is consistency between tellings.

Choosing a Credible Witness

At the scene of your accident, either speak to people who saw what happened yourself or ask someone else to do so for you. Record brief witness accounts as well as their name, phone number, and address. If there is more than one witness, multiple accounts can help corroborate your side of the story.

Ask nearby home and business owners if they witnessed the incident. Also, be sure to ask for a police report to get the names of any bystanders that you may have missed.

Ascertaining Credibility & Proving Claim

Determining the credibility and utility of potential witness testimony can be tricky, especially for victims who were directly involved in the event. However, an experienced Houston car accident attorney can help you find the best evidence to support your claim, whether that means witness or expert testimony, medical records, or video surveillance videos.

If you’ve been involved in an accident, allow the Houston auto accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns to investigate your claim, and then benefit from their experienced, professional advice.

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About Keith Lapeze

Keith Lapeze co-founded Lapeze & Johns with the focus of delivering dependable legal services to individuals hurt in accidents caused by negligence. After graduating third in his class from Louisiana State University Law Center, Mr. Lapeze continued his calling through commercial, environmental, and tort litigation where he is admitted to practice in both Texas and Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Read more about Keith Lapeze here.

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