How Eyewitness Testimony Can Help or Hurt Your Case
When you suffer any kind of injury in a car crash, one of the first things you might do is look for eyewitnesses who can objectively testify and support your claims. In any legal claim, eyewitness testimony can be compelling. You need to be careful, though, that your eyewitnesses don’t end up damaging your claim.
The Benefits of Eyewitness Testimony
Though you don’t need eyewitness testimony to successfully litigate a motor-vehicle-accident claim, it can be a powerful tool in court. You can use physical evidence, such as skid marks, vehicle damage assessments, and physical injuries, to reconstruct an accident, but a narrative from someone who was there can paint a clearer picture of what happened. In addition, eyewitness testimony can be invaluable to certain expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, helping them piece together the physical evidence and provide a believable and convincing explanation of what happened.
When Eyewitness Testimony Can Be Problematic
In some situations, it may not be in your best interests to rely on the testimony of eyewitnesses:
- Where the testimony includes material or significant contradictions—A witness may contradict himself or other witnesses, which can have a detrimental affect on the credibility of all your witnesses. If jurors have difficulty believing one of your witnesses, they may have difficulty believing all of them.
- Where there’s only a single eyewitness—Numerous studies have concluded that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. The more witnesses you have who provide corroboration testimony, the more credible it is. A single eyewitness, though, may carry little weight.
- When the eyewitness is nervous or fearful—Studies show that scared or anxious eyewitnesses are most likely to make false statements about what they saw.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a work-related motor vehicle accident, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton. Currently, all ourclient communications are by phone, text message, and online videoconference.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.