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What Is a Witness Statement?

March 20, 2024

When dealing with a case such as a personal injury lawsuit, insurance claim, workers’ compensation claim or disability benefits claim in Colorado, witness statements can provide a valuable source of evidence. Obtaining witness statements can help an injured accident victim in a variety of ways during a personal injury claim in Denver.

Understanding Witness Statements

A witness statement is a written and signed or recorded account of an individual’s observations, experiences or knowledge about an accident or event. It is not a legal document and should not sound as if it is coming from an attorney. It is a personal account that details the impressions of the author. It can provide opinions and should describe the individual’s unique perspective of the issue.

Why Are Witness Statements Important in a Personal Injury Case?

In personal injury law, witness statements are used to convey to an insurance company – or a judge and jury in a personal injury trial – how events took place or how they have affected the victim’s life. Witness statements are unbiased accounts from people who witnessed the event or have knowledge about the incident. They can provide crucial insights beyond only the victim’s side of the story

Witness statements can be valuable to a claim in many ways, including:

  • Corroborating the victim’s accounts: witness statements can help strengthen a victim’s credibility by confirming what he or she has already stated.
  • Preserving time-sensitive evidence: written or recorded witness statements that are captured in a timely manner after the event can be used to refresh witnesses’ memories later.
  • Impeaching credibility: if there are inconsistencies in a witness’s statements, they can be used to impeach or challenge the credibility of that witness.
  • Establishing the facts of the case: witness statements can offer a clear picture of the events leading up to the injury or disability to help a judge or jury understand what happened.
  • Proving negligence: an account from an eyewitness can be used to establish that the defendant’s actions or failure to act breached the required duty of care, which is an important element in a personal injury claim.
  • Demonstrating damages: statements from witnesses can be used to prove the extent of the victim’s injuries, how they have changed the victim’s life and the emotional distress they have caused.

A variety of perspectives from witness statements can present a more well-rounded case and help establish the truth of what the victim is claiming. During an insurance claim, statements from witnesses can be used to deliver more information to the insurance company. If the case has to go to court, witness statements or in-person testimony can help a jury come to a verdict and – if applicable – award a fair amount in financial compensation to the victim.

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Who Should Provide Witness Statements?

It can be helpful to a personal injury claimant to obtain witness statements from people who knew him or her before and after the event, such as friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors. This can give an insurance company or jury a better idea of how the accident has impacted the victim’s life, daily activities and ability to work

Any witness statements acquired should be relevant to the facts of the case and provide honest, accurate accounts of the individual’s observations. They should not embellish the facts or dramatize the truth. While witness statements do not guarantee a favorable case outcome, they can support a personal injury claim and make it stronger.

For more information about obtaining witness statements to support your personal injury case, contact the attorneys at Fang Law Firm. We offer free case consultations in Colorado.