When attempting to get compensation for injuries or other damages after an accident or in defense of a client, what a witness saw can make the difference between winning your case and the amount of damages that are awarded. The following are a few things to consider about the importance of a witness statement.

Third-Party Witnesses are More Objective

Naturally, anyone involved in an accident becomes a witness. Unfortunately, they are also the most biased, and their stories must be substantiated by evidence. Third parties, those not directly involved in the accident, have the most credibility. This becomes critical in accidents that are not caught on video. A third-party witness will also carry the most weight in a courtroom if a case is settled in front of a jury.

Deciding Whether to Go Forward With a Lawsuit

If you’re an attorney, you may find out that a third-party witness has a different account of what happened than your client. In this situation, you may not want to pursue the issue in court considering that the evidence does not favor you. However, you may still want to pursue an out-of-court settlement. Naturally, these are your decisions.

In this situation the expertise of a PI can get you information you wouldn’t be able to get on your own. Often, we can get a statement with a recorded phone call or an in-person interview. Either way, we have the experience and legal background to get a statement from a witness that will hold up in court.

Determining How Strong the Case is for Negotiating a Settlement

It is common for cases not to go to court, but if you get a witness statement that makes it clear that one or more parties were clearly at fault, then you will have leverage against an insurance company. Knowing that you have a good chance of winning the case, an insurance company is likely to settle the case, and do so quickly. This means a higher settlement amount for your client.

Injuries are Often Exaggerated

As a private investigation firm, we routinely work with insurance companies defending themselves against exaggerated injury claims. However, witness statements are a crucial element of refuting these claims. Even when it is clear that the injured party was not at fault in the accident, once a witness’s testimony has been taken, it may become clear that the extent of the injuries is not consistent or could not have occurred.

Getting a witness statement to an accident is just one service provided by a private investigation firm. In addition, because we have complementary skills, we can canvass an area for other witnesses. Sometimes it is possible to find someone who saw the accident but didn’t come forward at the time. We can also locate a witness that you are having trouble finding, and then get a witness statement from him. If you contact us and tell us the specifics of the case, we can give you details on how our services relate directly to your needs.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.