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Locating Witnesses After An Accident

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


After a car crash, it can be unclear which driver was at fault. The other party’s insurance company has may deny your claim if they believe there is insufficient evidence to show their driver was at fault. In this event, third-party witnesses may be the key to winning the insurance dispute.

If a discrepancy arises, insurance adjusters typically inquire whether any witnesses or observers were present at the scene. Finding a credible, unbiased bystander to support your side of the story will be critical in legitimizing your claim. If you’re unsure how to do this, a skilled lawyer can help.

How to Find Witnesses

Most likely, you will feel distraught in the aftermath of a severe crash. First and foremost, you should address any physical injuries and seek medical attention if needed. You should also report the accident to local law enforcement as soon as you are able.

While waiting for a police officer to arrive, you can search for available witnesses within the vicinity. Independent bystanders should not be related to you, nor have any personal interest in the outcome.

Neutral witnesses can include:

  • Passing pedestrians or cyclists
  • Road, utility, and construction workers
  • Drivers or occupants of other stopped vehicles not involved in the crash, such as drivers who were stopped at a busy intersection
  • Nearby business owners, employees, or customers
  • Nearby residents/homeowners within line of sight

In addition to witnesses on the street, after the road clears you should take note of the addresses of all adjacent buildings and speak with anyone who might have observed the accident through a window.

When approaching witnesses, you should first ask for their name and contact information in case your discussion gets cut short. If they seem willing, you can request that they record a brief statement describing a detailed account of the incident. Most smartphones have some kind of voice recorder app that you can use for this. If you take a written statement, the witness should sign and date at the bottom. You can then provide the statement to the responding officer to include in his or her report.

In addition to eyewitnesses, streets with local stores, offices, ATM machines, or parking lots might also be equipped with security cameras that captured pictures or video of the accident.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Although witness testimony can contribute greatly to the result of a claims dispute, there are many other forms of evidence that will help prove liability. When you are entangled in a complex insurance dispute, it’s to your benefit to seek the help of an experienced lawyer who knows what kind of evidence will best support your claim and can conduct an investigation into your crash.

At the Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we have helped countless clients in similar situations negotiate with unrelenting adjusters and ultimately to win sizeable claim settlements. If you were a victim of someone else’s reckless driving or negligence, our skilled Chicago attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. The compensation we recover can help cover the cost of any medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and other damages.

Furthermore, we offer step-by-step guidance in navigating the legal process, starting with the initial case evaluation. Please contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free session with lawyer to review your auto accident claim. Rest assured, we do not charge any fees unless you are awarded a settlement.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900