If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a Michigan car accident caused by another driver, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, recovering compensation can be challenging, particularly when it comes to determining liability. Along with a Southfield car accident lawyer, witnesses to the accident can provide valuable statements to help ensure fault is properly determined, and we want to discuss some questions that you should ask any eyewitnesses at the scene of the car accident.
Can you describe the accident in your own words?
This is a good question to start with because it gives the eyewitness a chance to give their own narrative of the events. They may add some details that you would not otherwise think to ask. In fact, many of the other questions on this list may be answered just by asking them to describe the incident in their own words.
From your perspective, how did the accident occur?
There’s no harm in asking an accident witness how they think the accident occurred. However, there is also no guarantee that the witness will have all of the details correct in their mind. That is why it is helpful to have multiple witnesses to a single accident.
Can you give me a detailed account of how the crash occurred?
Ask the eyewitnesses to go into detail about how the crash occurred. Ask them about what lane the vehicles were in, the stretch of road the accident happened on, whether or not any vehicle tried to hit their brakes, how fast they think the vehicles were traveling, the actions of drivers after the accident occurred, and whether or not they saw any debris from the accident.
Where were you located when the crash occurred?
You need to know where the eyewitness was located when the accident occurred. Were they in another vehicle, in a parking lot nearby, on a sidewalk, or on the actual roadway?
How far away from the accident were you?
It is important to know how far away the eyewitnesses were from the accident. Obviously, the closer and eyewitness was, the better for your case. Individuals 40 feet away from an accident will be more credible than those 100 yards away from an accident.
Who was with you when the crash occurred?
Ask the witnesses if there was anyone else with them at the time the crash occurred. If there were, you may be able to ask these individuals what happened or include them on a witness list to give to the insurance carriers or the police officers.
What did you do after the accident?
Ask the witnesses whether or not they did anything after the crash. If they came to aid someone involved in the accident, this may mean that they have more details available, or at least they may be more credible than those who did not come help.
Did you see any other individuals nearby?
Ask the witnesses if they saw any other individuals nearby. This includes witnesses from other vehicles who may have stopped, others involved in the accident that may have fled the scene, or any other witnesses that may be able to answer questions.
What were the weather and traffic conditions when the accident occurred?
It is always important to know what the traffic and weather conditions were like when an accident occurred.
What is your contact information?
Ask the eyewitnesses if they wouldn’t mind providing you with their names and contact information. As soon as witnesses leave the scene, there will be no way to get ahold of them afterward if you do not get their contact information written down.
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