How Witness Statements Can Be Valuable in Car Accident Lawsuits Let’s say you are part of a terrible car accident and suffer major injuries, in addition to substantial vehicle damage. Now what? Your only option may be to sue the driver at-fault for compensation, in order to recover from these new financial obstacles. However, there are many accidents where the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident. When this happens, a hit and run accident lawyer in Lakeland Florida from David & Philpot, PL can help. Once you hire a Lakeland, FL hit and run accident lawyer and file the necessary paperwork to pursue damages for your injuries, you must now start to gather as much evidence as you can that supports your case. One element of proof many people may forget about is eye witness statements. Here a car accident lawyer Lakeland, FL victims trust answers several questions about witness statements and how valuable these perspectives can be in a car accident lawsuit:
Q: How can I approach a witness to ask for their contact information?
A: At the scene of the car accident, any bystanders who come over to help are likely to be open to helping make things right. Those who want to be of aid to others typically have a strong sense of what is right and wrong. A hit and run accident lawyer advises victims to ask for the witness’ contact information. If the at-fault driver is present at the scene at this point, speak with witnesses away from the other driver so they do not feel pressure when in the presence of both of you. If a witness declines to give you their contact, do not take it personally. Some people just don’t want to be a part of legalities regardless of the incident.
Q: Can witness statements actually hurt my case?
A: There may be instances where a witness’ statement can hurt your case. If the witness is unreliable, has a tendency to stretch the truth, or seems to have ulterior motives by being involved with the lawsuit, then their statement may be better off not used at all. Your Lakeland, FL hit and run accident lawyer may recommend having no witnesses rather than bringing forward a statement that is flawed or supports the other driver’s story instead. Your hit and run accident lawyer can offer advice on which witnesses may either benefit or hinder your lawsuit.
Q: What type of witnesses are going to be the most credible?
A: Witnesses that have no self-interest in the matter are more likely to have credible statements. If there were no other witnesses aside from friends or family who were with you at the time, their statements can still be helpful. However, the less biased perspectives you get an official statement from, the better. A bystander that had no prior connection to the parties involved in the accident tend to be favored when presented in court.
Q: Where can I locate potential witnesses?
A: If you forgot to ask for the name and contact of those at the scene who saw the accident happen, you can go back and ask around at a later time. It may be more challenging to locate those who saw it happen now that it’s over, but it isn’t entirely impossible. For example, if the crash happened at an intersection with apartments or storefronts on the corner, a resident or worker in one of the shops could have witnessed the accident. Their names and contact information could also be on any police reports of the accident. Your Lakeland, FL hit and run accident lawyer will know the best way to find out this information.
Hit And Run Accident Lawyer Lakeland, Florida
After an injury in a car accident, you might wonder about taking potential legal action to help cover medical expenses and recoup some of your personal losses. However, deciding anything too quickly might be a mistake. Before charging forward with your personal injury claim, it is critical to understand its value, and for that, you need to know how worth is determined in these claims. For most personal injury claims, the value of pursuing action versus potential gain comes down to three factors. A hit and run accident lawyer in Lakeland, Florida can help.
1. Liability or Fault
The first and likely most important factor to consider is the liability, which refers to the responsibility for the accident, or more plainly, who’s at fault. Unfortunately, this issue is not so cut-and-dry because states have their own adopted philosophies surrounding the idea. Therefore, you will need to review your state to determine if it practices a pure or contributory negligence system. If it is a pure system, then things are more straightforward. However, if it is a contributory system, then you need to prove that the other driver was more than 51% responsible for your injuries. A hit and run accident lawyer in Lakeland, Florida can evaluate your case to determine liability.
2. Injury and Damages
Once you have determined the other driver is at fault, or at least more at fault than you, it is time to assess the value of your injuries or damages. For this, you will need to collect all medical records, bills and receipts for any expenses related to the accident. Also, you will need to determine any lost wages. Your Lakeland, Florida hit and run accident lawyer will help you figure out the less specific expenses, like pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
3. Source of Recovery
The last and most likely the most important factor in determining the worth of a claim and whether it is worth going to trial over is the source of recovery. To put it more plainly, the ability of the liable party to pay you restitution. In a perfect world, everyone has insurance or at least adequate coverage. Unfortunately, this is not reality, and some drivers do not have insurance. If you are in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver, then there is a good chance that they cannot make it right. Therefore, pursuing legal action for restitution may not be advisable. Instead, use your own personal injury protection and uninsured driver coverage to help recover some of your losses. An auto accident lawyer Lakeland, FL trusts will know which legal options are the best for your case.
Let a Lakeland, Florida Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Help
There is a lot of information that goes into the decision and discussions of a personal injury claim. If you are considering filing a claim against an at-fault driver, then consider hiring an experienced hit and run accident lawyer Lakeland, Florida clients recommend from David & Philpot, PL.
David & Philpot, PL Can Help If you have been injured in a crash caused by a fleeing driver, contact a hit and run accident lawyer Lakeland, FL clients recommend from David & Philpot, PL for a free case evaluation. We will work diligently to get you the justice you deserve.