Witness giving testimony at court

Information You Should Ask Witnesses

Law Office of James A. Maniatis April 17, 2023

Being involved in an accident can be a challenging experience. Under Massachusetts laws, accident victims may be eligible to pursue damages by filing a claim, regardless of the at-fault party. However, if you suffered a serious injury and want to file a third-party claim or lawsuit, you must prove fault and establish liability. Thankfully, third-party witnesses can give an unbiased viewpoint about the traffic crash and help establish who was really at fault for the incident. 

At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I'm poised and ready to guide and represent clients in their accident cases. As an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney, I can evaluate every aspect of your unique circumstances, enlighten you about the next steps to take, and review some questions to ask witnesses about the car accident. Also, I can help gather substantial evidence, including witness statements and testimonies, and help you pursue your deserved financial compensation. 

My firm proudly serves clients across Shrewsbury, Southborough, Webster, Westborough, Boylston, and Oxford, Massachusetts. 

Car Accident Claims in Massachusetts 

Massachusetts is a no-fault state for auto accidents. This means that an accident victim will turn to their own car insurance policy (PIP coverage) to cover medical expenses, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred from the accident up to the coverage limits, regardless of who was at fault. 

Furthermore, your PIP coverage will pay for the following: 

  • up to $8,000 worth of medical expenses, excluding deductible 

  • 75% of your lost wages (income) up to $8,000 

However, you may be able to step outside the state's no-fault system and file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party if you meet the following conditions: 

  • You incurred $2,000 or more in reasonable medical expenses, and/or 

  • You suffered any of these injuries from the accident: bone fracture, serious and permanent disfigurement, or substantial loss of hearing or sight. 

Statute of Limitations  

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Massachusetts, including car accident cases, is three years from the date of the accident or injury. This means that you must commence a civil action to recover damages within three years from the date the injury or accident occurred. 

Gathering Information After an Accident

However, it is important that you gather information and collect evidence after the traffic accident. Collecting relevant information about the other driver, such as the driver's name, phone number, license number, and insurance information, can help avoid a hit-and-run situation. Also, you can easily reach out to the insurance provider or at-fault party to seek damages. 

Also, the accident scene pictures can serve as proof of evidence when filing your insurance claims and help you remember how the accident happened. In addition, you can record witness testimonies and statements and get their contact information. The police report and other available evidence will have the required information you need to pursue your injury claim. 

Questions to Ask Accident Witnesses

An accident witness is a person who saw or heard the crash or was at the scene of the crash when it occurred. Here are some important questions to ask the accident witnesses: 

  • What time did you arrive at the accident scene? 

  • From your perspective, what were the weather and road conditions like? 

  • In your own words, can you describe in detail what you saw or heard? 

  • Did you have a clear view of the accident? How far away were you? 

  • Do you know of any other witnesses who may have more information? 

  • Was anyone with you when the accident occurred? 

  • Did you notice whether the other driver was distracted, texting, or speeding? 

  • What did the victims or people around them do after the accident? 

  • Who got out of their vehicle first? 

  • Will you be able to make a statement to the police? 

  • Do you know any of the accident victims or drivers? 

  • Can you write down your observation and sign the statement? 

  • Is there anything else you'd like to share about the accident? 

Also, ensure that you properly document all witness statements, testimonies, and findings. The information will be of great help if stories change later. 

Additional Information to Gather From Witnesses

Here is some additional information to gather from witnesses after a motor vehicle accident: 

Accident-Related Expertise: A witness that is experienced and knowledgeable about auto accidents will be very valuable to your case. Using their accident-related expertise or professional training, they may be able to provide the required evidence and shed more light on various mechanical, legal, or medical issues regarding your case. 

Information About Accident Victims: If a witness knows someone involved in the accident, you may be able to evaluate their statements better to determine whether they are biased. Also, this will help prevent a situation whereby your witness has a conflict of interest. Nonetheless, their unbiased testimonies will still be valuable to your case. 

Contact Information: Also, you can collect the names and contact information of all potential witnesses in case you need to get in touch with them about the incident. In fact, they can help you reach out to other vital witnesses. Your car accident attorney can also reach out to the witnesses and gather valuable details for your case. 

Seek Experienced Legal Guidance Following Your Accident

After an accident, witness statements and testimonies can provide valuable insights to the court, shed more light on the incident, and help identify the responsible party. At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I have devoted my career to offering outstanding legal services and protecting the best interests of accident victims and their loved ones. 

As your legal counsel, I can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, help gather witness statements and testimonies, and document relevant information and evidence about the crash. In addition, I will help you prepare a solid case, hold the liable party accountable, and help you pursue fair financial compensation to cover your injuries, damages, or losses. 

Contact me at the Law Office of James A. Maniatis today to schedule a simple case evaluation with an experienced car accident lawyer. I can offer you the skilled representation and support you need in your accident case. My firm proudly serves clients across Shrewsbury, Southborough, Webster, Westborough, Boylston, Northborough, and Oxford, Massachusetts.