Witnesses can play a vital role in any bike accident claim, providing first-hand accounts of what happened and helping to paint a clear picture of the insurance company or court events. But not all witnesses are created equal – some will be more credible than others in the eyes of an insurer or judge, and it’s important to know the difference. So, what makes a credible witness in a bike accident claim? Here are some key factors.
Must Have Been Present at the Time of the Accident
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important nonetheless. A witness who wasn’t present at the time of the accident cannot provide first-hand accounts of what happened, so their testimony will be much less valuable. Even if they saw the accident’s aftermath and can provide helpful details, it’s still not as good as having someone there.
A credible witness will provide an objective account of events without any clear bias for or against either party to a bicycle accident attorney and the insurance company. This means that their account should be free of any language that could be seen as opinionated, such as “he was going too fast” or “she ran the stop sign.” Instead, they should describe the events as they saw them happen without adding any personal commentary. Using terms like “seemed” or “appeared” is often helpful.
Ability to be Cross-Examined
For a witness to be credible, they must withstand cross-examination from the other side. This means that they should be able to stick to their story and not be shaken by questions from an attorney. If a witness seems unsure of themselves or changes their story during cross-examination, it will damage their credibility in the eyes of the court.
A credible witness will be able to provide detailed accounts of what they saw, including specific details such as time, date, location, and any other relevant information. They should also be able to describe the events clearly and concisely without getting bogged down in unnecessary details. A credible witness should have details that they remember from the accident.
A credible witness will also be able to provide accurate details about what happened. This means that their story should line up with any physical evidence present, such as skid marks on the road or damage to the bikes involved. It’s also important for witnesses to provide consistent accounts of events – if their story changes over time, it will damage their credibility.
Relationship to the Bicyclist
Last but not least, a credible witness should have no prior relationship with the bicyclist involved in the accident. This means that they should not be friends, family members, or colleagues of the bicyclist. Having a prior relationship with the bicyclist can bias a witness’s testimony, making it less credible in the eyes of an insurer or court.
While having a witness who meets all of these criteria is ideal, it’s not always possible. In many cases, the best you can do is to find a witness who meets as many of these criteria as possible. Even if a witness doesn’t meet all of these criteria, their testimony can still help support your claim.