How Important Are Evidence and Witnesses in A Car Wreck Claim?
May 26, 2022
Evidence and witnesses in a car crash can very well determine the entire outcome of a case. It is very typical for both drivers to deny that they are responsible or at fault in an accident. For example, often in an intersectional collision, both drivers may claim they had the green light. An independent witness may be able to clearly pinpoint which driver did actually have the red light and which driver had the green light. This is who the jury is going to believe and that could determine the entire outcome of the case. The jurors don’t typically identify with the parties in the case because they know there is a dispute and that both sides are adverse to each other.
The jurors in the case identify more closely with the judge, the bailiff, the court reporter, and with independent witnesses who come into court just trying to do as best they can to recollect the facts of a case. Jurors know these witnesses don’t have any axe to grind or any monetary stake in the outcome of the case. Therefore, independent witnesses are crucial to a personal injury case.
How Long Do Auto Accident Claims Typically Take to Be Resolved?
Attorney Robert Haslam finds there is no average time for a personal injury case to be resolved. Every case is different. However, he has what he refers to as his “six month” rule. That is if someone comes into his office the day after an accident or shortly after, he tells that person that the case will not be settled for at least 6 months.
The reason for that is that maximum medical improvement for the person who was injured needs to be met first. That means the person has improved as well as he or she possibly can. Unfortunately, there are a lot cases where it is hard or impossible to tell.
In Attorney Haslam’s experience with what are called soft tissue injuries such as a bruise, a sprain or a strain, or a muscle injury, those types of injuries many times resolve rather quickly; within six to eight weeks. If the injury required surgery, however, it may not be known for six months or even after one year after the occurrence, as to whether the person has recovered to the level of maximum medical improvement. Therefore, many of the legal aspects of the case follow behind the more important aspects which are the medical aspects.
Attorney Haslam warns however, someone should not wait until the two year statute of limitations is going to expire within a week or a few days. He may not be able to take the case because there is too much work that has to be done that simply can’t be done in one week’s time. The other reason someone should not wait that long to file a claim is because two years after the occurrence, it is almost impossible to gather all of the evidence and all of the witnesses.
Attorney Haslam finds there is a sweet spot in there where someone doesn’t necessarily need to run to an attorney the same day of an auto crash. However, he or she should definitely not wait for the statute of limitations to nearly run out either. As a general rule, he advises people to call his office, make an appointment and come see him roughly 30 days after the wreck. At that point, the police reports will be finished, as well as the witness statements and the individual should have a pretty, good idea from their doctor what the medical care might entail.
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