What Makes a Car Accident Witness Credible?


After a car accident, witness testimony may play an important role in proving your claim. Witness credibility is critical, but what makes a witness credible?

The attorneys of Roden Law discuss witness testimony and credibility. If you were injured in a car accident, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Advantages of Having Witnesses

Witnesses can be very important in a car accident claim. They may be able to fill in the gaps in the stories of the involved parties. Witnesses are often strangers who have no relationship or emotional connection to the victim – it is important for witnesses to provide an unbiased account of what happened.

Witness testimony helps to uncover if one party is leaving out key information to try to hide negligence. If more than one witness repeats the same story, the judge or jury will tend to believe the witnesses’ story.

Qualifications Needed

A witness needs to be considered credible to help your claim. There are several factors your attorney may consider to determine if a witness may be considered credible:

  • Did the witness view the accident in its entirety? Some at the scene may only have looked to see the aftermath but did not see the accident occur. Witnesses who are credible saw the accident from beginning to end.
  • Was the witness distracted at the time of the accident? If he or she was doing something else, he or she may not have observed important details about the collision.
  • Does the witness remember details? The more detail a witness can recall, the better. Over time, memories fade, and it becomes harder to accurately remember the accident, which can diminish credibility.
  • Does the witness know the driver in any way? Witnesses who happen to be friends with the victim or are related to this person may not be considered to have as much credibility as those who have little or no connection to the victim.
  • Was the witness a part of the accident? If so, that witness is considered an accident victim and not a witness.
  • What is the witness’s history? Certain factors about the witness hurt his or her credibility, such as frequent memory loss, criminal record reputation of dishonesty or lying, bad vision, poor hearing, history of drinking or substance abuse.

Is Hearsay Considered Evidence?

It is important that your witness gives information from his or her personal observations and not from someone else’s. Your attorney will also look to see if the witness was with someone else at the time of the accident, as his or her memory of the incident may be clouded by that other person’s statements and feelings about the accident.

Hearsay is information heard secondhand, such as information a witness is told about the accident by someone else. Hearsay is often not permitted as evidence.

That is why it is extremely important that your witness’s testimony come from his or her own observations about the accident – if he or she is simply repeating information heard from someone else, his or her testimony may not be useful.

Contact Our Attorneys for Assistance

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, our Macon car accident attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation today and learn about your possible legal options for recovery. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.