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Auto Accidents: Importance of Witness Statements

After a car accident, figuring out what exactly happened and who is at fault is incredibly important. It affects how insurance claims and court cases get resolved. Statements from witnesses or people who saw the accident but weren’t involved are particularly important here.

They can give a clear and unbiased view of the whole situation – what led up to the accident, the accident itself, and what happened right after. For people in Portland, OR, knowing why these witness statements matter is key to making sure you get a fair deal.

Basically, the percentage that you’re found to be at fault for the accident will affect how much compensation you’re able to recover from the other person involved. The United States calls this type of system “comparative negligence,” and Oregon has modified it in specific ways. Most notably, if you are found to be primarily responsible for the accident (50% or higher), Oregon won’t allow you to receive compensation from the other party at all.

You can see, then, why it’s so important to have witness testimony. Even if we can lower your percentage of fault a little bit, it can save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. If you have further questions that this article doesn’t cover, call Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law in Portland for personalized advice.

Why Witness Statements Matter

Right after a car crash, things can be messy and confusing. The people involved might not remember everything correctly because they’re stressed or shaken up. This can lead to different stories about what exactly happened and when.

That’s why witness statements are so important. These are people who saw the crash but weren’t part of it. They can tell an unemotional story without taking sides, which helps authorities figure out the truth.

They’re particularly useful when the story that the other driver gave doesn’t match your own. This could be because the timing of events is wrong or because the other driver is not fully admitting their guilt. In these cases, unbiased reporting by a witness can help save your case.

When to Get Witness Statements

Getting witness statements quickly is really important in accident cases. The best time to get them is right after the accident if you are able. That’s because everything that happened is fresh in the minds of the people who saw it. If you wait too long, people might start to forget details, or their memories might get mixed up.

If you can’t collect statements on the scene, asking for the contact information of witnesses can be incredibly helpful. Statements from witnesses are not always entered into police reports, so remembering who was there can help us get statements within a day or two of the accident.

How Witness Statements Affect Your Case

Witness statements are powerful evidence in court and with insurance claims. Since witnesses aren’t part of the accident, their words are seen as trustworthy by insurance companies and judges.

They look at these statements carefully to figure out if the stories of the people in the accident make sense. A clear and detailed account from a witness can really help support your side. This could mean a better chance of lowering the percentage that you were at fault and, therefore, securing you a higher settlement.

Understanding Insurance Company Tactics

Before you deal with insurance companies after an accident, it’s important to know how they work. Insurance companies are a business and often look for ways to pay out as little as possible. They might question your version of events or downplay how serious the accident was.

That’s why having witness statements is so important. Witnesses can provide unbiased proof of what happened, making it harder for insurance companies to argue against your claim. With solid witness statements, you stand a better chance of getting the insurance payout you deserve.

Making the Most of Witness Statements

To really use witness statements well, they need to be packed with details. It’s not just about what happened during the crash but also what led up to it and what happened right after. It’s important to get the witness’s contact info, where the accident happened, and everything they saw and heard. Our lawyers are great at asking the right questions to make sure we get all the useful details out of a witness.

The Challenge of Memory and Perception in Accident Cases

After an accident, everyone involved might see things differently. This isn’t just because people forget. It’s also because of how stress, shock, and personal biases can change how we remember an event.

People involved in the crash might remember it in a way that favors them without even meaning to. This is another reason why witness statements are so crucial. Witnesses, who don’t have a personal stake in the outcome can offer a more objective view of what happened. Their accounts can help clear up any confusion caused by the different memories and perceptions of those directly involved in the accident.

Tackling the Tough Parts

Getting these statements and using them correctly can be tricky. Sometimes, witnesses don’t want to get involved, or what they say might be very different from others, making things more complicated.

That’s where having a good lawyer comes in. At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we have experience dealing with these kinds of issues. We know how to check if a witness’s story adds up and how to fit their statements into your case in the best way.

Our team has a lot of experience with car accident cases here in Portland, OR. We’re great at handling all the little details, from collecting witness statements to fighting for your rights in court or with insurance companies. We make sure you’re treated fairly and get the compensation you deserve.

Call Us Today

Witness statements after an accident help show what really happened and who’s at fault and can even affect how much money you get from insurance or in court. Getting these statements quickly and using them the right way is key.

Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law are here to help. We offer support after an accident in Portland, OR, both financially and emotionally. Call us today at (503) 287-5000.

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