Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler November 13, 2015

After a car accident, having witnesses to back up your belief that another driver was at fault can be very important to your case. After all, while a jury likely will view defendants and plaintiffs as biased, witnesses tend to be neutral third-party bystanders with no reason to tell anything but the truth.

Since witnesses have no stake in the outcome of a claim, they tend to be believed when asserting who was at fault in a car accident.

Typical witnesses to a car wreck

Typical witnesses to a car wreck are persons in vehicles or on foot who happened to be in the vicinity when the wreck occurred.

These can include people emerging from stores or businesses nearby, road and utility workers, drivers or passengers of adjacent vehicles or even non-driving occupants of a vehicle that was in the crash. They also can include a so-called passerby or someone who stops to render aid.

How to Get Witnesses’ Help

You must make your health and safety your immediate priorities after a car wreck. However, if possible, survey the scene immediately after a crash to determine who might have witnessed it. If a driver other than you was to blame, ask the witness if that also was their perception of the accident.

Remember to identify yourself and to be as polite and as patient as possible with witnesses. After all, you will be asking them to do you a favor by supporting your case if their perception of the crash coincides with your own.

Then, if the witness supports your claim and is willing, get the name, address, phone number, email address and any other contact information for each witness. You can do this by using a pen and paper, or you can record such information on a cellphone.

While you can get a witness to jot down or record a statement confirming his or her perception of the crash, you don’t necessarily have to record a witness’s actual statements at this time. But you do need to record or note all of the contact information that you can get.

Your Car Wreck Attorney Will Help

Later, give the contact information for each witness to your car accident lawyer. Your attorney or the firm’s investigator will help by contacting each witness for you.

Witnesses then will be asked exactly what they know or remember about your accident. If their knowledge or recollection will help your case, the lawyer or investigator will get a recorded statement to preserve that.

Witnesses’ Recorded Statements

Such a recorded statement will not be under oath, and it alone may not be that useful in a later legal proceeding, settlement or lawsuit. But all information supporting your case is worth gathering for its potential use later.

A formal deposition, which records the witness’s statement, can be more helpful in a later legal proceeding. However, your lawyer cannot let you hear this statement without also allowing the defense attorney access to it. For this reason, you may not be allowed to hear the deposition of a witness until a case goes to trial.

How Effective Are Witness Statements?

Even then, how effective are witness statements? That depends on the witness. In some cases, a witness may have his or her credibility undercut, as when the witness makes courtroom testimony that is inconsistent with his or her initial statement.

Also, the observations of witnesses who were far from the spot of the accident may have less credibility. Further, a witness may lose credibility based on his or her personal nature or characteristics, such as a reputation for dishonesty or perhaps a criminal background.

Witness Statements for Insurance

Before a case goes to trial, witness statements may be provided to an insurance company’s claims adjusters. They will contact the witnesses and ask each for a recorded statement, taken from questions the adjusters will ask. Such questions will include whether the witness is related to you or knew you prior to the crash, or if the witness has any financial or personal interest in the claim’s outcome.

If your case isn’t settled by negotiation with the insurer and instead goes to trial, witness statements may not be helpful to your claim. Legally, a witness’s statement is considered hearsay and might not be admissible in court. Also, the witness must show up in court in order to testify.

Yet having witnesses who support your account of a crash can be very helpful when dealing with an insurance company. Favorable witnesses can get an insurance adjuster to take your claim seriously and be more willing to negotiate an appropriate settlement.

Non-Human Witnesses

You also may use “non-human witnesses” for your case. That is, you can determine if surveillance video or ATM camera footage in the area caught images of the accident as it happened.

Many retailers maintain constant video of the areas in front of their business, which may include the street view of where your accident took place.

Your car accident lawyer with our law firm can help you secure such footage.

Notify Jim Adler & Associates today for a free case review. You may be legally entitled to substantial financial recovery for your injury losses.

FREE Case Review

Google Reviews

I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
13:42 01 Jun 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.read more
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.read more
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
If you’ve been seriously injured, get The Tough, Smart Lawyer! ®
Get Help Right Now
Principal Office Houston, TX