March 18, 2022
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are recovering after a personal injury accident and you are gathering evidence, you are likely looking into the people who may have seen the accident happen. When you are hoping to file an injury claim for your accident, one of the best forms of evidence might be bringing forward anyone who was a witness to your accident. They can help shed light on what they saw or heard and they can offer neutral, third-party input into who seemed to be the negligent party. This can be incredibly valuable to your claim, especially if you are insisting that you were not responsible for the accident happening. However, if you are dealing with the other party’s insurance agent and they are asking to speak with the witnesses, what can you do?
What is the first thing you should do in this instance?
First, it is important to speak with your lawyer to understand what you are legally obligated to do. Your lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from a law firm like Barry P. Goldberg, knows that if you refuse to give the insurance agent the name of your witness it could be seen as a lack of cooperation on your part. Especially in the instance where you have already told the insurance agent that you have witnesses to your accident, it would not make much sense on your part to avoid disclosing who your witnesses are. Remember, you want the insurance company to be willing to come to a fair settlement amount with you and if you are not willing to provide them with the names of the witnesses then they will not be happy that they are unable to verify the witnesses’ statements.
Can this hurt my insurance claim at all?
It is always possible that when an insurance agent speaks with a witness that it could hurt your insurance claim. Many insurance agents will use the information they get to work in the insurance company’s favor. In certain instances, a witness may tell you that they do not want their information shared with the insurance agent and it is important to be transparent with the insurance agent when this is the case. It is important to remember that if a witness flat-out refuses to speak with an insurance adjuster, then the information they provide for your claim may be given very little weight when it comes to making a difference in the settlement amount you are offered. A witness may feel more comfortable:
- Calling the insurance company on their own
- Setting the time, date, and place that they speak with the insurance company
- If their interview is not recorded
- Giving as little personal information out as possible
It is important that your witness feels comfortable when they are providing information on your behalf for your claim. If you have any questions regarding the witness to your accident or would like to know the best next steps, reach out to a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases.