What Makes an Effective Witness in a New York Car Accident Case?
Car accidents are among some of the most potentially serious and catastrophic accidents out there. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most common accidents. This is especially true in the State of New York. As a matter of fact, a study by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) found that there were over 118,000 non-fatal car crashes in 2014 alone.
Auto accidents are made even more difficult to deal with when insurance companies try to minimize a victim’s settlement. This may be true even in cases where liability is made immediately clear. In fact, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to claim that any injuries and damages caused by an automobile accident were actually pre-existing conditions instead.
If you have recently suffered personal injury as a result of a car accident, you will want to make sure that you have as much evidence on your side as possible. One of the most effective ways to provide proof of your innocence is by procuring a witness. When you have a witness on your side, the case stops being a matter of “he said, she said.”
The Different Kinds of Witnesses in a New York Car Accident Case
When you talk about witnesses, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is an eyewitness. While this is certainly an important kind of witness to have, it is not the only one. In fact, there are many different kinds of witnesses you can have in a New York car accident case.
Independent witnesses, or lay witnesses, are generally other drivers who were present at the scene of the accident. They may also be pedestrians, passengers, or passersby. These witnesses are eyewitnesses and are able to testify about the various different conditions of an accident. For example, they may be able to provide details on locations of signs and other traffic control devices, traffic conditions, visibility problems, the approximate speeds of all involved vehicles, and more.
If there were no independent witnesses available at the time of the accident, then your case may rely on expert witness testimony. The most well-known type of expert witness in a car accident case is an accident reconstruction specialist. An accident reconstruction specialist is able to testify in court just like an independent witness and may be able to develop both physical and computer models to present to the jury. They are specially trained to estimate vehicle speeds, directions, locations, momentums, and stopping distances in order to best determine who was at fault for an accident.
Even healthcare providers may be called upon as witnesses. Although they may not have been direct witnesses to the automobile accident itself, they are still able to testify about a victim’s injuries and the severity of such injuries. They may be able to provide their professional opinion about whether or not the auto accident created new injuries or worsened any pre-existing ones.
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.