If it is safe to do so, you can and should talk to any witnesses at the scene of the incident. Even if they did not see what occurred at that exact moment, they may be able to provide insight into what happened right before or right after, which could be valuable. The police, as well as your Atlanta car accident lawyer, can gather this information, but having your own conversation with a witness and getting their contact information is always a good idea.
Witnessing a car accident
Witnessing a car accident is a traumatic experience for many people, so always be careful in what you are asking and how you approach individuals. The following are some of the most important details to obtain.
Their contact information
Get any information related to the individual that could prove to be valuable to you later. This should include their name, even if they will only provide their first name, along with their phone number. If possible, ask for their address so you can follow up later if you need to.
A description of what they saw
When a witness is willing to do so, it is a good idea to ask them to provide you with information about the incident. Some people may allow you to record them telling you what occurred, but others will not want to be on video for fear of repercussions. That is okay. The important thing is to get them to write down or discuss what occurred. Have a third party jot down notes from what they tell you, if possible.
What they saw before the accident can be just as important. Here are some details to try to obtain:
- Did they notice the cars before the accident occurred?
- Did they see the driver engaging in anything while driving?
- Did any driver swerve outside of their lane?
- What happened after the accident that they remember?
- Did they see how the vehicles struck each other?
Ask them to describe where they were standing, sitting, or otherwise located. Ask if they noticed anything else, like an animal or a child in the street, the lights changing, or other drivers texting behind the wheel.
Permission to contact them later
Your attorney can gather more information later if the individual is willing to provide their contact information. Simply ask if you can contact them later if you have any questions or for clarification.
Focus on your health and calling the police
While it is important to gather information from anyone witnessing a car accident, do not put your safety or health at risk, or anyone else’s, to do this. Instead, call 911 and allow the police to explain what occurred. If you are not sure if witnesses are available, let the police do the work for you to find out.
Let our attorneys guide you every step of the way
Speaking to a car accident witness is something we will do for you at Rafi Law Firm. Give us a call now at (404) 800-9933 to discuss your case. We are here to help you. Set up a free consultation to learn how.