If you’ve witnessed a car accident, you might be asked to write a witness statement of what you saw. The statement should include who was involved, what happened, when it did, and where it was.
Describe what each vehicle did before, during, and after the accident, and anything the drivers said or did afterwards. No detail is too small to include, so be sure to write down everything you remember about the accident in a coherent narrative.
What Information Does a Witness Statement Need?
Car accidents can happen anytime so it’s vital to understand the immediate steps you need to take in case you find yourself in this situation. If you’re a witness of an accident, take notes of anything relating to the accident that you can refer back to later when you write your report.
Later on once you get a chance to write it, your witness statement should have the following information:
Your Contact Information
Be sure to include your full legal name, phone number, and home address in your witness statement.
The Timeline of the Accident
Describe what the vehicles involved in the crash were doing before, during, and after the accident.
Talk about directions of their movement, the speed at which they moved, and how the crash happened as you saw it. Be as specific as possible when describing the mechanics of the crash.
Be sure to include any information about the weather or road conditions during the crash. Also describe anything the drivers did or said, if you could hear it, before, during, or after the accident.
Injuries and Damage
Describe any injuries that those involved in the accident suffered. Talk about the damage that occurred from the accident to vehicles and any other property. Be as specific as possible when describing each, such as
Any Other Witnesses
If there were any other potential witnesses to the accident, describe them and their location as best as possible.
Include any other additional information that you believe can improve the understanding of the crash that doesn’t fit into the above categories.
When Should I Write My Witness Statement?
Write your statement as soon as possible after the accident while the information is still fresh in your mind. The more time that passes, the more you are likely to misremember or forget.
What Should I Leave Out of My Report?
A witness report needs to be a simple report of events that occurred during an accident. As such, it should be free of the following:
- Personal opinions
Simple stick to reporting what you observed during the accident without any personal interpretation of the events.
Why Do I Need to Write a Witness Statement?
A witness statement can be an important piece of evidence in court, as it comes from an unbiased third-party. A court can turn to it as a source of evidence and to cross-reference the reports submitted by those directly involved in the accident.
Does a Witness Statement Need to be Written?
A witness statement doesn’t need to be written or notarized in order to be useful to a car crash victim. Audio or video recordings from witnesses can also count as witness statements.
In fact, a witness doesn’t even need to be living. Security cameras can count as “silent” witnesses and their footage can be used for statements.
A witness statement can change the course of a car accident investigation. Without one, a victim could have a difficult time in achieving a fair settlement and might even be unfairly assigned blame in a crash.