While most of us have experienced a minor fender bender, far too many serious car accidents change the lives of motorists in the blink of an eye each day; in fact, there are several thousand fatalities per day on average throughout the country, with nearly 40,000 crashes per day. While that certainly keeps law enforcement officials busy reporting on traffic incidents, others may play a large role when it comes to information about car accident cases too: the independent witnesses.
While you and the other motorist involved (assuming for this example there are only two cars involved) in a crash obviously play a major role as witnesses, along with anyone else riding in the cars, independent witnesses can be extremely valuable. They may, in fact, be so important and so valuable to a case (especially one with a large scale settlement) that they may become a target of intimidation by the insurance company under pressure to payout.
In most cases, an independent witness is a third party who was not involved in the crash and most likely does not know any of the parties involved. Because of the status, they are expected to be as neutral as possible due to a lack of any financial or personal gain whatsoever. The independent witness may be someone who was walking, whether navigating a busy city traffic crosswalk area or traveling on a sidewalk or riding a bicycle. They may also have been watching from surrounding buildings, or another driver could be an independent witness also.
Whether you were in a wreck and hope that witnesses will help you, or whether you were a witness and are wondering what to do, remember that you are under no legal obligation to come forth; however, your participation in offering more information could make a huge difference in the life of the motorist who was injured. For some, a car accident results not just in physical misery as they may experience long-term or permanent injury, but also financial devastation that is hard to come back from. If an insurance settlement is not paid or is unreasonably delayed, that could make life very hard for someone who was just an innocent motorist trying to get to work or home—or maybe just the grocery store. While you may not want to get involved, consider how you would feel if you were in their shoes.
If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, this is not the time to go it alone! Please call the law offices of Andrew ‘Pike’ Piekalkiewicz, PLLC as soon as possible at (713) 748-7453 or visit AttorneySgtPike for a no obligation case review.