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If you’ve been in a car accident, a witness can prove to be either friend or foe. If you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligent driving, a witness can help support your case. In contrast, if you were at fault, having a witness likely won’t help you. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s helpful to know who can qualify as a credible witness following a car accident.

Someone who witnessed the event

Anyone who was at the scene of the accident when it occurred can qualify as a witness. This includes other drivers or pedestrians that weren’t involved. However, drivers or pedestrians directly involved in the accident cannot serve as witnesses.

In some cases, passengers within the cars involved in the accident can qualify, as long as they are determined to be credible and unbiased.

Someone who is credible

The testimony of a witness will only have a bearing if they are credible. A simple way of determining their credibility is by identifying where they were at the time. If they were driving a car, their credibility may be diminished as they may have been preoccupied with trying to avoid the collision. If they were a pedestrian watching from a safe distance, they may have been able to observe more details and thus have greater credibility.

It’s also crucial to determine whether the witness observed the entire accident, if they have any sight or hearing impairments, if they were intoxicated, or if they were distracted. If the accident is what drew their attention to the scene, they may not prove credible as they did not see it take place and may not be able to determine culpability. If they have any visual or hearing impairments, were intoxicated, or were looking after children at the time, their recall may not be as reliable.

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