Why Get Witness Info at Intersection Accidents?

While we certainly hope you have safe experiences on the road, there are times when unexpected situations can occur. In fact, there were more than 300,000 total vehicle crashes in Illinois in 2020, according to Illinois Car Crash Statistics reported by Top Driver. A common place where motor vehicle accidents occur is at busy intersections. If you should find yourself involved with a personal injury accident of this nature, be sure to get witness names and numbers. Here’s why.

Car Accident - Why Get Witness Info at Intersection Accidents

Witnesses Can Provide Added Details and/or Evidence

When a personal injury occurs at an intersection, there are many things that go through your mind. Consequently, you may not be fully aware of everything that happened or what took place immediately before and after the accident. Witnesses may be able to fill in many of these blanks. Witnesses could also be able to provide evidence that includes:

  • Statements about what happened
  • Images or videos from smartphones
  • Confirmation of what you know/believe happened

But Memories Can Fade (So Collect Info ASAP)

It’s sometimes possible for a car accident injury attorney to track down drivers of other vehicles at the intersection, pedestrians, and other accident witnesses later. However, this process sometimes takes a while, especially if you didn’t initially get names and numbers of witnesses. The potential issue here is that memories can fade over time. Attorneys for other involved parties or insurance companies may use this fact against you. They could, for instance, question the credibility or accuracy of witness statements obtained several weeks or months later.

Keep Witness Information Requests Brief and Basic

Of course, the first thing you should focus on if you are in an accident at an intersection is receiving proper medical attention. That said, if you aren’t seriously injured, it can be beneficial to immediately collect names and numbers of witnesses. When asking for witness information, don’t overwhelm them – or make them uncomfortable – by asking for too much information. Instead, just ask for first and last name and a contact phone number. This is information you can provide to your attorney. Your insurance provider or the other party’s insurance company may also ask for witness names and numbers.

Get Names and Numbers from Local Residents, Too

It’s also a good idea to get names and numbers of local residents. The reason for doing this is these individuals may have seen the accident or have surveillance footage of it. This additional information could help make your case more credible or help identify responsible parties.

What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do to Help

A car accident injury attorney can lend a hand by using your witness contact info to conduct interviews. It’s best to have an attorney do this since you may overlook certain details. You may also unintentionally make potential witnesses feel a bit uneasy given the emotions associated with personal injury situations. A personal injury attorney can also guide you through the rest of the steps involved with your case so you can focus on recovering.

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