Auto accidents are a frequent occurrence throughout America, and Florida is no stranger to them. Residents of the Sunshine State might be alarmed knowing that Florida accounted for 341,399 car accidents in 2020 alone, translating to 933 accidents per day! Fortunately, Florida has adequate legal measures set in place to help its residents recover compensation for the losses they might incur in accidents.
Working with the right Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can relieve you from the burden of figuring out what to do in the aftermath of an auto accident. One of the most important things a car accident lawyer will advise you is to seek and preserve all of the evidence surrounding your accident to make a strong claim. The better the evidence, the stronger the claim can be, and it can help you win a lawsuit if your case goes on that trajectory.
A personal injury attorney will likely seek out and call witnesses during the process because a witness can play a critical role in the outcome of personal injury cases.
Today’s post will be a guide on helping you understand the importance of witnesses in Florida car accident cases. Knowing this can help you make more well-informed decisions that could lead to a more favorable outcome for your auto accident claim.
What Is A Witness In A Car Accident Case?
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The word “witness” has several possible meanings based on the context you are using it in, but it has a very specific connotation when it comes to car accident cases. A witness in any legal case is an individual that can provide proof in a case. The evidence could be during settlement cases or in court cases. Many people know about witnesses because they have watched plenty of courtroom dramas in TV shows and movies. Those people testifying in court are witnesses.
The Different Kinds Of Witnesses
There are several types of witnesses in legal cases, but only two concern auto accident cases. We have covered the basic definition of the types of witnesses in car accident cases below.
Eyewitnesses are regarded as the most crucial witness in any case. If someone is simply referring to a witness in a case, they are talking about an eyewitness. An eyewitness, as the name implies, is someone who witnessed the accident with their own eyes. An eyewitness in a car accident case could be anybody who saw the accident happen. These witnesses are asked to testify under oath and report their observations during the accident. They are only responsible for sharing the facts as they recall them to the best of their ability.
Contrary to what you might think after watching TV shows and movies, eyewitnesses are not expected to share their opinions regarding the accident they witnessed. The judge, jury, and settlement negotiators are the ones responsible for addressing that.
Another type of witness you might have seen in TV shows and dramas about courtrooms is the expert witness. Expert witnesses may be involved in auto accident cases in Florida. These witnesses are not first-hand witnesses. They did not see the accident or have prior knowledge about it. Expert witnesses are specialists who are requested to render their opinions on the facts surrounding a case when necessary. Courts typically call on expert witnesses when they need an expert’s opinion regarding specific aspects of a case.
Expert witnesses often speak about the technical aspects concerning auto accident cases, and lawyers may ask them to state those complex facts in simpler terms to help the jury understand. Expert witnesses can be a wide range of people, including doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, engineers, auto accident reconstruction professionals, and many others.
Why Are Witnesses Important For Auto Accident Claims?
Witnesses are crucial for auto accident cases because they can provide the most important pieces of evidence that can help a case reach its conclusion. Most straightforward auto accident claims involve witnesses who provided enough evidence to bring the case to a reasonable conclusion without considerable delays. This section of the guide will cover some of the reasons witnesses can make or break a case.
Determining The Cause Of The Accident
One of the first things a witness does is prove that the accident happened – something necessary to prevent insurance companies from saying that it is a fraudulent claim. Additionally, witness statements can establish vital facts surrounding the case, including which party caused the accident, what the at-fault party was doing, where the accident occurred, and when the accident happened. Eyewitnesses are necessary to identify all these facts and help car crash victims make a strong claim for their rightful compensation.
Establishing A Relation Between The Accident And The Victims’ Injuries & Losses
Just because you have an injury, it does not mean that the accident was responsible for causing them. It might seem illogical, but the at-fault party or insurance companies (yours or theirs) can try to devalue your claim by stating that your pain and suffering were not caused by the accident.
An eyewitness to the accident can establish the link between the victim’s injuries and the accident. Expert witnesses like doctors and other medical practitioners can testify to prove that the victim’s injuries were caused by the accident.
Potentially Preserving Evidence
In this day and age, almost everyone carries a phone with a camera. Witnesses can be critical in preserving the proof that states the facts surrounding the accident. It is common to see witnesses record accident scenes on their phones. Such documentation can serve as important and tangible evidence for the case.
Even if a witness cannot recall what they saw with great accuracy, any videos or pictures they took of the scene can provide objective evidence surrounding the auto accident case.
The Role Of Expert Witnesses
Courts do not call expert witnesses in every case. Sometimes, expert witnesses are unnecessary for auto accident cases. Expert witnesses are there to understand the truth surrounding any disputed facts in a case.
For instance, only a psychologist can be called in to prove the psychological impact an accident left or could have left on a plaintiff. But a psychologist might not be called in as an expert witness if the plaintiff did not suffer any psychological trauma due to the accident.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help?
Suppose that you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale. In that case, you might qualify for compensation through your insurance company or through a third-party claim against the other motorist involved in the accident. However, it is not up to you to decide whether your case has merit to be taken out of Florida’s no-fault system.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you make the best possible decision on the legal avenues you can explore to receive compensation. Additionally, your lawyer can negotiate with all concerned parties on your behalf so you can focus entirely on your recovery. It means that you can ask your lawyer to contact the witnesses and find expert witnesses for your case, if necessary, without dealing with all the hassles that come with it.
If you’re looking for legal support in an auto accident, consider contacting Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers to get in touch with their Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers. The legal team has extensive experience in dealing with such cases and delivering desirable outcomes for their clients.