Am I Required to Take the Witness Stand in an Auto Accident Case?
Immediately after a car accident, the first thing to do is to make sure that everyone is safe and to report the incident. Next step is to determine whether a settlement is possible. But, if and when a car accident happens and makes it to court, one crucial consideration is whether a witness will take the stand.
Car accidents often do not make it to trial for the reason that most of these cases are settled outside the courtroom. A car accident may involve injuries and a possible car wreck, in which case, a settlement between opposing parties that come to an agreement is put into place instead of going to court. In the settlement, the party at fault usually agrees to shoulder the expenses by involving their car insurance company.
It is more preferable to bring a car accident into a settlement for many reasons. First, bringing car accident cases to court is an expensive and time-consuming ordeal. Second, most insurance companies can expertly settle the payout for injuries in an easier and faster way. This means that there is no need to go through a long settlement in court.
However, there are times when a settlement is not possible between the two involved parties. When a resolution is not possible, the two parties will then have no other option but to go to court. Thus, pieces of evidence must be acquired to establish a strong case.
Types of Evidence
Among the different types of evidence are:
- Video or photographic evidence – Video surveillance or a photograph of the accident is a compelling piece of evidence that shows an actual picture or video of the incident.
- Physical evidence – Physical evidence is a type of evidence that comes in the form of a concrete and tangible object present in the accident.
- Documentary Evidence, specifically medical records – Medical records show the injuries you have acquired in the accident and your medical expenses.
- Witness testimony – Witnesses provide information that will hopefully reconstruct the incident in question. Witness testimony is crucial in determining whether the case will win or not.
Witness Testimony as Evidence
Witness testimony is a type of supporting evidence that comes from an unbiased third party who has seen the car accident. A witness provides an account of the facts and occurrences in court and gives his/her testimony under a sworn oath. For the aggrieved party, witness testimony may be a relevant piece of evidence in court that will determine guilt or innocence.
Why is Witness Testimony Relevant?
Witness testimony is relevant because it can provide an unbiased reconstruction of the events that happened during the accident. It is highly relevant in court because it has the capacity to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
This testimony is relevant when it provides factual evidence in proving the case. When the testimony is hearsay, an opinion, or a speculation, it will not be relevant in court.
Should you take the Witness Stand?
If you are a witness to a car accident, you must assess if you remember completely, and without a doubt, what you saw during the incident. You have to be reliable and confident about your testimony because when the other party cross-examines you, they will try to pinpoint the weak parts of your statements and use them to discredit you. Ultimately, it will make you lose your case. If you feel that you are unsure, it is better to avoid testifying to avoid damaging your case.
Is it Possible for you to be forced to Testify?
The only time that you can be forced to testify is when the court sends you a subpoena. A subpoena is a document that requires you to appear as a witness or present certain documents in court. It also gives you the time and date that you will testify.
If ever you receive a subpoena, the best step to take is to read it and obey what it orders you to do. Failure to comply with the subpoena is a contempt of court. You could face probation, jail time, community service, or other criminal sanctions.
Contact The Clark Law Office for Expert Legal Representation
If ever you find yourself in a car accident and need the services of a Lansing car accident lawyer, contact The Clark Law Office today. We can provide you with professional and expert lawyers that can help you understand your case better and can help you throughout the arduous legal process. Call us at +1 (517) 347-6900 to book an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.