Can I Remain Anonymous If I’m a Witness to a Car Accident in Florida?
Witnesses can be extremely helpful in negotiating insurance settlements or lawsuits in car accident cases because of the evidence they can provide to strengthen the injured party’s claims and damages. Insurance claims adjusters and lawyers will base settlement amounts on the available evidence, and one of the key pieces of reliable evidence in car accident cases is usually witness testimonies.
However, adjusters, lawyers, judges, courts, and juries must be able to figure out which party is at-fault for the accident and must be held responsible for the damages. This is why witness testimonies from credible persons are crucial to accident investigations.
Although you have the right to remain anonymous if you want to share what you witnessed in a car crash, the liable party will most likely attack your credibility to undermine the arguments and evidence of the injured party. For example, they may argue that you shouldn’t want to remain anonymous if you don’t have anything to hide and your life is not in danger in any way if you reveal your identity.
When deciding whether to remain anonymous, put yourself in the injured victim’s place, particularly if the crash involved serious injuries or fatalities. Also, keep in mind remaining anonymous may negatively impact your credibility as a witness and the injured victim’s case.
Why Witness Credibility Matters a Lot
In most instances, people who witness car crashes aren’t capable of fully understanding or absorbing every little thing that happened while the accident was unfolding and only remember the details later on. This is especially true if they were also driving while witnessing the accident. They’re probably more worried about their safety instead of evaluating the situation to figure out what caused the crash.
Therefore, some witness statements and observations might be unreliable, making it harder to establish the witness’s credibility. There are, however, certain factors that can affect whether a witness will be considered credible, such as:
- Whether the witness saw the events of the crash from beginning to end
- Where was the witness located at the time of the crash – were they a pedestrian or another driver?
- Whether the witness was in any way distracted
- Whether the witness can determine if one of the parties in the crash was speeding or otherwise breaking a traffic law when the crash occurred
- Whether the witness is basing their observations on other witnesses or relying on their own personal recollection of the events
The character of the witness will also be questioned or attacked by the liable party. If, for instance, the witness has a criminal record or is known to be dishonest or unreliable, this might negatively affect their credibility. This also applies if a witness has any interest in the outcome of the car accident case.
Seek Legal Assistance From an Experienced Brandon Car Accident Lawyer Today
Did you witness a car accident or was involved in one? You can learn more about your options and better understand your case when you discuss your case with our Brandon car accident lawyer. Call the law office of Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A. at 813-654-3444 or contact us online to schedule your free case review.