What Is a Good Witness Account in a New York Car Accident Case?
It is an unfortunate truth that car accidents are among some of the most common types of accidents out there. This is especially true in the state of New York. In fact, a study by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) showed that there were over 118,000 non-fatal car crashes in the year 2014 alone.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it is not uncommon for insurance providers to try to minimize a victim’s settlement. This can even be true in cases where liability is made immediately obvious. At the end of the day, an insurance provider is a business just like any other—meaning they put their bottom line first. Claims adjusters may go to drastic measures to reduce a settlement offer. They may even claim that any injuries and damages were actually pre-existing conditions the victim is lying about.
Clearly, car accident claims are something to take seriously. If you have recently suffered personal injury as a result of an auto accident, you will want to start building your case right away. This includes having as much evidence on your side as possible. One of the most effective forms of evidence you can have is a witness account. But do you know what makes for an effective witness in a New York auto accident claim?
There Are Different Kinds of Witnesses
Most people believe that there is only one type of witness—an eyewitness. But this just isn’t true. In reality, there are multiple different types of witnesses you may have in a New York car accident case. These include independent witnesses and expert witnesses.
Independent witnesses are also known as lay witnesses. They tend to be other drivers who were present for the collision, or even pedestrians, passengers, or passersby. They are eyewitnesses who are able to testify firsthand about any relevant factors that may have contributed to the accident (including but not limited to traffic conditions, visibility problems, the approximate speeds of the involved vehicles, and the locations of any road signs).
Expert witnesses are generally only used when there are no independent witnesses available. Accident reconstruction specialists are the most well-known type of expert witness. They can testify in court, and they may also present both physical and computer models to the jury. They are specifically trained to estimate vehicle speeds, directions, locations, momentums, and stopping distances—making them ultra-qualified to determine who was at fault for an accident.
Healthcare providers may also be called upon the witness stand. While they may not have any information about the accident itself, they are still qualified to testify about a victim’s injuries—and whether or not the accident created any new problems or worsened any pre-existing conditions.
Seeking Legal Help
If you or a loved one have recently been a victim of personal injury as a result of a car accident, we at Gattuso & Ciottoli PLLC may be able to help. Our offices are based in Syracuse and we proudly serve the Central New York area, including Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, North Syracuse, Camillus, Liverpool, Cortland, and Auburn. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced New York car accident attorneys. Let us fight for you.