Being the victim of an accident is not something anyone wants to go through, particularly if you firmly believe it wasn’t your fault or was caused by the negligence of others. So it’s really no wonder that many people choose to seek compensation through a personal injury lawyer. In principle, that’s perfectly understandable and acceptable. But the real challenge is proving that someone else was at fault – and that’s where witness statements can play an important part in achieving success.
That’s pretty obvious when you think about it. After all, a compensation claim backed up by eyewitness evidence is going to carry more weight, reducing or removing any belief that the claim is in any way dubious or based on an exaggerated or false premise. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and the other party was at fault but refused to take responsibility, eyewitness evidence can prove to be a powerful weapon in your favour. The same applies to workplace injuries.
The real challenge is when you do not have witnesses to the accident – either because there were none around or people that saw the accident are not prepared to act as witnesses.
In such cases, is it worth pursuing a claim?
Well, there’s no right or wrong as such. You are perfectly entitled to still make a claim. But you would be doing so without the benefit of something that would help you form a stronger case. That said, it very much depends on the circumstances of the accident including where, when and how it happened. The answers to these questions will play a big part in determining whether to proceed.
- If you were involved in a car accident and there were witnesses who refused to come forward, it may be that the police could call on them to provide testimony
- It may also be that CCTV footage could be used to establish the circumstances of the accident more clearly
- If you were involved in an accident at work with no witnesses that wasn’t your fault, you can still protect your interests by officially logging the accident and the details in the Work Accident Book. This is important and a first step in the aftermath of any accident in the workplace. If you can’t do it due to injury, ask a colleague or supervisor to do it for you.
These are just a few examples of how not having witnesses need not prevent you from making a personal injury claim. But, as we’ve pointed out, it really does vary case by case. So your first port of call should be to a reliable personal injury lawyer who will be able to properly advise you.