Can a Witness Be Forced To Testify for a Savannah Car Crash Case?

gavel and book on a courtroom deskIf you are seeking compensation for damages in a car crash case that goes to trial, you could greatly benefit from the testimony of a credible witness. However, if that witness does not want to go to court, can he or she be forced to testify?

Below we discuss potential legal options if a witness refuses to go to court to provide testimony for a car crash case.

Do you need legal help after being injured in a Savannah car crash? At Roden Law, we have been helping victims injured in collisions for decades. Our car crash attorneys in Savannah are prepared to help you recover the full and fair compensation you need.

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How Can a Witness Benefit the Outcome of My Case?

Credible witnesses can greatly benefit the outcome of a car crash case. Since they have no vested interest in the outcome of the claim, insurance companies, as well as the jury, give their statement more weight. Often witnesses may have had a different or clearer vantage point of the crash. He or she may have been better able to see events leading up to the point of impact.

If the witness is not credible, his or her testimony could also negatively impact the outcome of your case. For instance, if he or she normally wears glasses and was not wearing them leading up to the crash. Witnesses with a history of not being honest would also not be considered credible. However, your attorney will thoroughly vet any potential parties before clearing them as a witness.

When Would I Need a Witness To Testify?

A witness may not be needed for every car crash case. However, there is no way of knowing that at the onset of a claim. This is why we strongly recommend gathering contact details of any witnesses at the scene of the incident. Your attorney can contact the witness soon after to vet them and determine if they are credible.

Some of the reasons that you may need a statement or testimony from credible witnesses may include:

In a car crash claim, a witness may be needed to provide a statement in several situations:

  • Determining Fault: When fault is not clear, a credible witness may be able to clarify who caused the accident.
  • Supporting Evidence: Statements from bystanders may back up your version of what happened.
  • Traffic Violations: In a “he said, she said” situation, testimony may answer a question about whether someone broke traffic rules.
  • Insurance Claims: Testimony can help when insurance companies want more information before agreeing to settle claims. It could also give your attorney more leverage to negotiate for a higher amount.
  • Legal Cases: In court, witnesses can help prove what happened.
  • Pedestrian Involvement: A bystander may have seen a pedestrian or cyclist may have contributed to the accident.
  • Visibility Issues: For example, when bad weather or blocked views are factors for the drivers and one or more witnesses had a better vantage point.
  • Complex Crashes: In accidents, such as a multi-vehicle crash, witness testimony can be invaluable.
  • Impact Details: Witnesses may often have more details that help to describe how serious the crash was.
  • Correcting Police Reports: When there are mistakes or missing details about the moments leading up to the crash in the police report.

Witness statements can be crucial to a case as they help paint a clearer picture of the crash.

What If Your Case Goes to Court and a Witness Refuses To Testify?

There are a few reasons why a witness may refuse to testify if your case goes to court. For starters, a lot of people hate the idea of having to testify in any trial. Even the idea of it is scary for some people.

If a witness refuses for whatever reason, your attorney may be able to reassure that person enough to change his or her mind.

Serving a Subpoena if the Witnesses Refuses to Testify

Despite an attorney’s best efforts to convince a witness to testify voluntarily, he or she may still refuse to do it. In that situation, your attorney may consider serving the witness with a subpoena.

Sometimes a witness may refuse to testify for valid reasons that may release them, even if you issue a subpoena, such as:

  • The court is more than 100 miles from the home or business of a witness
  • The witness claims an undue hardship makes it impossible for them to show up
  • A difficult witness may make it impossible for them to be served a subpoena

Most of the time, witnesses tend to be well-meaning and willing to help out. Even those who are less willing can often be talked into it by an experienced attorney.

Need an Attorney After a Car Crash in Georgia? Call Roden Law Today

At Roden Law, we know how vital evidence is in a car crash case. Our firm has the resources and staff to gather the evidence you need and build a solid case. We have decades of experience and a history of proven results.

Our firm is dedicated to fighting for the full and fair compensation that you need after being injured in a car crash. Find out if you have a case in a free initial case review. There is zero cost to you. If you have a case and we represent you, there are also no upfront costs to pay.

Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. 1-844-RESULTS