Driving on the roads of New York can be dangerous. People get into accidents every day. If it happens to you, you want to be able to be compensated for any injuries that you’ve suffered. Determining fault can add further complexity to the issue. Therefore, reliable eyewitnesses can go a long way in making a big difference in your personal injury claim.
Insurance companies will do whatever it takes to avoid paying costly damages, even attacking the credibility of a witness. Because of this, you will want to be sure that any witness that you have testifying on your behalf is really “credible.”
What Does it Mean to be Credible?
A credible witness is one who presents as competent and worthy of belief. Their testimony is presumed to be truthful due to their knowledge, experience, and their appearance of integrity.
Why Witness Credibility is so Important
As with any case, establishing a witness’s credibility in your accident claim can be difficult, but discrediting it may not be as challenging. If fault is uncertain, it gives the defense more leeway to try to poke holes in the case. However, it’s very important to show your witnesses’ believability because there’s a direct connection between the credibility of a witness (or the lack of credibility) and the opportunity of your vehicle accident attorney to negotiate a good settlement offer for you.
What Factors Make a Witness Credible?
Now that’s it’s been shown how relevant the way that your witnesses come across, what are some of the elements that make a witness credible? The following are factors that can help to establish the credibility of a witness:
- Strong moral character with a lack of criminal history
- Not a personal relationship with you (not a relative or friend)
- Mentally and physically healthy
- Drug and alcohol free at the time of the accident
What Factors Hurt Witness Credibility?
Just as certain elements can help to create witness credibility, there are factors that have a negative impact. Here are the following factors that hurt a witness’ credibility:
- Witnesses who didn’t see the entire accident
- Witnesses who provide inconsistent accounts of the accident
- Witnesses who are distracted (they are on their cell phone, talking with others)
- Witnesses who are biased (they are relatives or personal friends)
- Witnesses who have a financial interest in the case
- Witnesses who have trouble discussing the accident due to mental health issues, age, or physical condition)
It’s best for your case to have a witness who has clear vantage point of the accident, with no personal or financial ties. A witness who is not credible may do more harm than good in your personal injury lawsuit. Here, your attorney may even advise you to not use them as a witness.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced PI Attorney
Determining a witness’ credibility is just one of the many things that a lawyer will do to help you get the compensation that you deserve. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury attorney at your side. Connect with one of our skillful MOWK Law personal injury attorneys who is ready to talk to you. Contact us today.