I Witnessed a Car Accident, Can I be Forced to Testify?
In many car accident claims, witness testimonies are an important piece of evidence. If you were riding in a car when it collided with another, walking down the street when you watched an accident occur, or if you were driving at the time of an accident and watch two or more other cars collide, you are a witness to the accident.
Come Forward and Discuss the Accident when Asked
At the scene of the accident, one or more of the drivers involved might ask for your contact information so they can be in touch for a testimony later. Do not refuse to exchange contact information. In fact, even if you are not directly asked for your contact information, come forward to the drivers involved and law enforcement at the scene to offer your testimony if necessary. By doing this, you can help the investigation. Even if you feel you should not get involved, you should. If you have something to share about the accident, share it.
If you are Issued a Subpoena, you Must Comply
A subpoena is a written order from the court that requires a witness to provide oral testimony or submit documents to support a pending case. If you receive a subpoena, you must comply with its request unless you feel that doing so would incriminate you. Refusing to provide testimony to avoid self-incrimination is your right under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. If you are considering “pleading the fifth,” work with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
Otherwise, you must provide the documents you are asked to provide or appear in court when you are asked to appear. If you physically cannot appear in court due to an illness or another serious issue, you can request a postponement. This does not mean you will never appear in court, but that your appearance is pushed back until you can appear.
Be Truthful, Be Cooperative, and Be Helpful
Remember, you are helping an injured victim seek compensation for his or her injury damages. If the victim’s personal injury claim is not successful, he or she can go into deep debt for an accident he or she did not cause. If you are asked to provide testimony to support a personal injury claim, provide it to the best of your ability. Do not exaggerate details in an effort to villainize the negligent driver or “help” the victim – just tell the insurance provider, lawyer, or law enforcement everything you know about the accident. If you are asked a question you do not know the answer to, simply reply that you are not sure.
Draper Law Office can Answer Any Questions you Have About Personal Injury Claims in Florida
A car accident can be expensive for an injured victim. Our team at Draper Law Office works hard to help victims seek the compensation they deserve for their car accident damages. To learn more about what we do for our clients, schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with us today by visiting our firm online or calling us as 866-767-4711.