Fender benders and minor accidents happen every day. Many times, the drivers exchange paperwork and go on their way. Sometimes there is no damage at all and both drivers acknowledge that everything is fine and leave without sharing any information. Some of these minor events don’t go away. One or both of the drivers decide that there is some damage or injury that was not evident at the time of the accident. Usually, a call or letter from an insurance company seeking information is the first indication that there is a problem.
Police Validate Information
Taking the time to exchange paperwork with another driver can provide you with valuable information. Having the police come to the scene also validates the information such as driver, registration, and insurance coverage of all drivers.
Police might make a cursory investigation, filling out a basic accident form to provide to the drivers involved for their insurance companies. The paperwork usually has the driver’s information, a drawing of what happened, estimate of damages, injuries, and a basic statement of what happened.
Some accidents have witnesses, some do not. When there are witnesses to an accident, those witnesses can have a variety of experiences to report. Most witnesses don’t know every aspect of an accident. Their interpretation of what happened is based on what they actually saw.
Many witnesses didn’t see anything until they heard the crash. A few witnesses will report that they saw the accident before it happened, watching helplessly as the inevitable collision occurred.
Problems with Witnesses
The more witnesses the better? Not necessarily.
Witnesses can be an enormous help when trying to reconstruct an accident scene. They can also be a liability. Some witnesses can be quite unreliable. It could be helpful to have multiple witnesses who confirm what happened. Multiple witnesses reporting the same sequence of events is good. Having multiple witnesses could also present another problem, conflicting reports.
They might not have seen everything that happened. Depending on where they were when the accident occurred and when they first became aware of the accident will impact what they report.
Accidents that seem simple and minor are not always that way. Witnesses can help or hinder but it’s good to get their perspective.
Whether you have witness statements or not, contact our firm for assistance for your accident needs. We are here to help.