Apart from evidence, eyewitness accounts are some of the things lawyers use to prove fault in accident cases. However, for a witness' testimony to be accepted, it must be credible. This means that his or her account of the accident must be believable. The court may not consider your witness' testimony as credible if he or she:
Is Inconsistent with His or Her Testimony
A credible witness must give the same testimony at all stages of the case. If he or she tells different things to the accident investigators, during deposition and court testimony, then his or her credibility suffers. Consider an example of a witness who, during deposition, claims that he or she was crossing the road when an accident occurs. If the witness later testifies in court that he or she was standing by the roadside, then he or she lacks consistency.
Is Giving Implausible Testimony
Another important consideration is whether the witness's testimony is plausible; is it something that could have happened? Consider a case where it has been independently verified that there was a serious traffic jam (say there was a gridlock) around the accident scene. If a witness claims that an eighteen wheeler that caused an accident was speeding, then his or her testimony's plausibility will be questioned. If the traffic was gridlocked, then how could the truck speed through it?
Could Not Have Witnessed the Accident
A witness is somebody who hears or sees the event that is being investigated. If the prevailing circumstances could have prevented a bystander from "witnessing" the accident, then he or she may not be deemed credible if he or she testifies as having seen the action. For example, a witness who was inside a coffee shop with tinted windows should not claim that he or she saw (through the windows) what happened outside.
Past Criminal Records
Lastly, the credibility of a witness with a criminal past may also be in question even if he or she appears to be telling the truth. For example, if the court learns that a witness has been convicted of forgery or perjury in the past, then the accuracy of his or her testimony may be questioned. This is because such a criminal history shows someone who doesn't have a high regard for the truth.
A personal injury lawyer from a firm like Gallagher Law Offices PC will vet your witnesses and decide which ones to rely upon. Your job is to get the contacts of the possible witnesses and forward them to your attorney. This is why you are advised to get the details of potential witnesses at an accident scene.
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