When you make a claim for a personal injury, you should provide to your lawyer any information about potential witnesses of your accident. For example, if you were involved in a car shunt at a roundabout, and somebody stopped to help you, and they shared their details with you as a witness, then you should give these details to your lawyer, so that a new line of enquiry can be opened to further establish the facts surrounding your case. Your lawyer will ask you at the beginning of the claims process to provide any evidence you have.
However, if you have no witness statements at all, or no witness details, there is absolutely no need to worry, since witnesses are not essential to most personal injury claims.
Witnesses and evidence
Witnesses can prove invaluable when it comes to making claim. They can clear up ‘grey’ areas of an accident claim, such as the circumstances leading up to an accident, since the victims of an accident can forget these. But ultimately, witnesses can clear up matters of liability, such as exactly how an accident happened between the parties.
The way witnesses are used, is by collecting witness statements. A witness statement is a written or verbal account of the events leading up to, during or after an accident. When it comes to collecting these, the claimant’s lawyer will handle the whole process.
Processing a claim without witnesses
As previously touched on, witnesses are not essential to most personal injury claims. When you make a new claim, your lawyer will explore several means of collecting evidence, such as requesting CCTV footage and accessing medical / emergency service reports. These types of evidence can place you at the scene of an accident, to clear up any placement concerns, and they can also prove your level of liability beyond any doubt. Compared to these, witness statements are lightweight, since they are open to some level of interpretation.
Do I have a strong personal injury claim?
Moving on, whether you can provide a witness for your accident claim or not has no real bearing on the strength of your claim. Your solicitor will collect other types of evidence regardless, to build you a compelling case for compensation. The strength of your claim relies heavily on whether your lawyer can prove beyond any doubt that the other side was liable for the accident in which you were injured. It is often the case that the other side will admit liability, and this saves a lot of time, however sometimes further effort is required to get a response that satisfies the client, so that a settlement demand can be agreed.