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An emergency team carries a car accident victim on a stretcher, bystanders on the side​
Personal Injuries Blog

The Importance Of Witnesses To A Car Accident Claim In New York

If you were involved in a car accident in New York, you might be dealing with serious injuries and mounting expenses. To get the compensation you rightfully deserve, you’ll need to know how to strengthen your case.

One essential factor that can impact the outcome of your claim is the presence of witnesses. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the importance of witnesses to a car accident claim in New York.

We will share what types of witnesses and legal strategies you can use to secure a successful resolution for your case.

Looking for a car accident lawyer?

Contact our team at Spar & Bernstein!

Bradford H. Bernstein

This article was written and reviewed by Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., who has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.


The Importance Of Witnesses To A Car Accident Claim In New York

Witnesses play a crucial role in a car accident claim in New York. Their statements help establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and support the victim’s case.

The role of witnesses is important for several reasons:

  • Corroborating evidence: Witnesses provide independent confirmation of the events surrounding the accident. Their testimonies can validate the accounts of the parties involved and help establish a more accurate picture of what happened.
  • Credibility: Witness statements enhance the credibility of the accident report. Their unbiased observations can serve as reliable and persuasive information to insurance companies, law enforcement and courts.
  • Recollection of details: Stressful events like accidents can impair human memory. Witnesses can provide additional details and perspectives that the involved parties may have missed or forgotten.
  • Determining fault: Witness testimony can be crucial in determining fault in a car accident. Objective eyewitness accounts can help clarify disputed issues, such as who had the right of way or who exhibited negligent behavior, aiding in the assignment of liability.
  • Supporting claims: Witnesses can support the claims of the parties involved in the accident by verifying different factors, such as the severity of the impact, the behavior of the drivers before the accident or the presence of road hazards. This can strengthen the validity of the claims made by the injured parties.
  • Preventing fraud: Witnesses can help prevent fraudulent claims by providing truthful accounts of the accident. Their presence makes sure that the facts of the incident are accurately represented, safeguarding the integrity of the claims process.

Types Of Witnesses To A Car Accident Claim

Each type of witness brings unique insights and expertise to the investigation and resolution of a car accident claim. Their contribution helps establish a clear understanding of the events and the factors that contributed to the accident.


Eyewitnesses are people who were present at the scene of the accident and directly observed how it occurred. These can be drivers of other vehicles, bystanders, passengers, pedestrians, occupants of nearby buildings and workers in the vicinity.

Eyewitness testimony is valuable as it provides firsthand accounts of the events, including details such as:

  • The sequence of events leading up to, during and after the accident: This can include information about the actions of the drivers and their interactions with other vehicles, pedestrians or objects.
  • The traffic conditions: This can include information about the volume of traffic, congestion, road signs, markings and obstacles or hazards on the road.
  • The weather conditions: This can include statements on rain, snow, fog, ice, sun glare or strong winds that could have contributed to the accident.
  • The behavior of the drivers: This can include information about the drivers’ speed, following distance, use of signals and compliance with traffic laws or regulations.
  • The impact of the collision and the extent of damage: This can include information about the vehicles’ broken parts, dents and scratches, deployed airbags and fluid leaks.
  • The injuries sustained: This can include information about the severity of injuries and the need for medical assistance.

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses are professionals with specialized knowledge or expertise relevant to car accident cases.

In car accident claims, expert witnesses may include accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals and automotive engineers.

Expert witnesses provide analysis and opinions to help clarify complex issues, including:

  • The factors that led to the collision: This can include calculation of speed and trajectories along with information about potential contributing factors, such as driver error, road conditions or mechanical failure.
  • Vehicle damage evaluation: This can include examination of the structural integrity, mechanical components and safety features to determine the severity of impact and the potential for injuries.
  • Analysis of injuries: This can include evaluation of factors such as severity of injuries, treatment, prognosis, and long-term impact on the injured parties’ lives.
  • Assessment of economic damages: This can include calculation of the medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and future costs of care.
  • Liability: This can include information about the actions of each driver — for example, speeding, failure to yield, distracted driving or reckless maneuvering.

Character Witnesses

Character witnesses testify about the character and reputation of the parties involved in the car accident.

Character witnesses may include friends, family members, colleagues or acquaintances. They can describe the involved parties’:

  • Moral integrity
  • Honesty
  • Responsible behavior

Character witness testimony may be relevant in cases where there are questions of credibility or character.

For example, if a driver is being accused of reckless driving and causing a collision, character witness testimony may be used to attest to the driver’s reputation for safe and responsible driving habits.

By presenting evidence of the driver’s good character and driving record, such testimony can help undermine allegations of negligence and mitigate liability for the accident.

Eyewitnesses help an injured person after a car accident​
Witnesses to a car accident in New York can include other drivers, pedestrians, accident reconstruction specialists and medical professionals​

Legal Considerations and Strategies

Effective witness management and collaboration with legal experts are essential for achieving successful outcomes in car accident cases in New York.

Note that while you can work on collecting witness statements independently, an experienced legal professional has the experience and knowledge to effectively utilize this information in legal proceedings to achieve the best outcome for your case.

Collecting Witness Statements

Collect witness statements — or ask your legal representative to do so — as soon as possible after the accident while memories are still fresh. Write down contact information from witnesses and encourage them to provide written or recorded statements of what they saw.

Make sure that witnesses sign and date their statements to authenticate their testimony.

Preserve any physical evidence or documentation provided by witnesses. These can include photographs, videos, sketches or other materials that support their statements.

Verifying Witness Testimony

Cross-check witness statements with other evidence you have collected, such as police reports (check if you can amend a police report after an accident), photos or videos you have taken, vehicle damage assessments and expert opinions.

Look for inconsistencies or discrepancies that may affect the reliability of the witnesses’ testimonies and address them accordingly.

Assess the credibility of witnesses by considering factors such as their proximity to the accident, vantage point, level of attentiveness and any potential conflicts of interest.

Working With Legal Professionals

Seek guidance and assistance from experienced personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accident claims.

Legal professionals can leverage their investigative resources and expertise to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive accident investigation which includes gathering witness statements, obtaining relevant documentation and analyzing evidence.
  • Identify and address legal issues related to witness testimony, ensuring its admissibility and relevance in court.
  • Present witness testimony effectively in court, emphasizing key points and highlighting corroborating evidence.
  • Prepare witnesses for depositions and trial appearance, coaching them on courtroom procedures and questioning techniques.
An attorney and a client discussing a car accident claim​
A knowledgeable lawyer will build a strong case on your behalf, making sure witness statements are admissible and relevant​

Did You Suffer Injuries In A Car Accident? Contact Spar & Bernstein

With five decades of personal injury experience and an extensive portfolio of success stories, The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein provide comprehensive legal support after a car accident in New York.

We understand the crucial role that witnesses can play in strengthening your case. Our lawyers excel at gathering witness statements promptly and effectively, making sure that testimonies are preserved and used strategically to bolster your claim.

We assess witness credibility, address inconsistencies and ensure compelling presentation of witness testimony in legal proceedings.

Additionally, our legal team offers a range of services to support you throughout the entire car accident claim process.

From determining your case worth to liaising with insurance companies and negotiating settlements, we are committed to advocating for your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.

Were you injured in a car accident?

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Car Accident Witness Statements: FAQs

If you are looking for more information about the importance of witnesses to a car accident claim, check out our FAQs section below.

How can I make sure that witness testimony is effectively used in my car accident claim?

Work closely with your attorney to gather witness statements, assess their credibility and strategically use them in your claim. This will help you maximize their impact and relevance in the legal proceedings.

What happens if the witness statements contradict each other?

Contradicting witness statements may require further investigation to reconcile the differences. Our car accident attorneys at Spar & Bernstein can assess the credibility of the witnesses and determine the best course of action.

Can witness testimony be challenged in court?

Yes, witness testimony can be challenged in court through cross-examination and the presentation of contradictory evidence. Our lawyers will work to defend the credibility of your witnesses and counter any challenges to their testimony.

Need a personal injury lawyer?

Contact our team at Spar & Bernstein!