If you were injured in a car accident in Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you can show that the other driver’s negligence caused your crash. Testimony from eyewitnesses who saw how your crash occurred could be crucial to proving your case. You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to preserve their statements quickly.
Why It Is Important to Preserve Witness Testimony
Witness statements are important evidence that can help you prove the other motorist’s negligence if it is disputed. However, witness testimony may not be needed for months or longer until their deposition is taken, or they must testify at trial.
It is crucial to preserve their testimony right away for several reasons. First, they could move, and you may be unable to locate them after they change addresses. In addition, they could forget important details about the crash if you delay getting their statement. Finally, if the witness suffered a life-threatening injury or is not in good health, you may lose their testimony if you do not confirm their statement as soon as possible.
How a Lawyer Can Preserve Witness Statements
It is best to let your attorney obtain and preserve a witness’ statement. Here are the steps a lawyer might take on your behalf:
- Interview the witness. Your attorney’s first step would be to interview the witness to determine their information about the car accident.
- Affidavit. After interviewing the witness, your lawyer may prepare an affidavit outlining the witness’ statements about how the accident happened. They would ask the witness to sign the affidavit in front of a notary public. The affidavit could be used in settlement negotiations or court.
- Deposition. Witness depositions cannot be taken until you file a lawsuit and the discovery phase of your case has begun. In a deposition, the witness would answer your lawyer’s and the opposing attorney’s questions under oath. A court reporter would transcribe the session and then prepare a written version of the deposition that could be used in court.
- Expedited discovery. If a witness suffers from a life-threatening illness or injury or would be unavailable at trial, your lawyer could ask the judge to expedite the beginning of the discovery phase so that the deposition can be taken immediately.
Were you or a family member injured in a car accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Do you need help preserving witness testimony? Call our Norfolk office at 757.625.1214 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can assist you.