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How Important are Witnesses in a Personal Injury Case?

Posted By Aaron Hicks
How Important are Witnesses in a Personal Injury Case?

Depending on the facts and legal issues, witnesses could be critical to the outcome of your personal injury case. Usually, the more credible witnesses you have, the stronger your case. That can mean a higher settlement amount, an insurance company more eager to settle, and less likely to push a case to trial.

If you or a loved one are injured due to another party, Aaron Hicks at the Hicks Law Firm will assist you in any way we can. Our firm serves clients with personal injury claims throughout Orange County and Southern California. Call us at 949-541-9944 or complete our online contact form so we may discuss your case.

What Kinds of Witnesses May Be Involved in a Personal Injury Case?

Witnesses can go far beyond stating they saw the defendant’s car strike yours at an intersection. There are several issues to be resolved in a personal injury case. Witnesses can establish the points necessary to have a successful claim:

  • Eyewitnesses: They observed the accident that caused your injury. They can describe the sequence of events and provide important details about the accident’s cause

  • Expert Witnesses: Expert witnesses are professionals with specialized knowledge or expertise in areas related to the case. They may include medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, engineers, vocational rehabilitation experts, or economists who can provide opinions and analysis regarding your injuries, what caused the accident, and your financial harm

  • Treating Physicians: Your doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare providers can be called to testify about the extent of your injuries, your treatment, your progress, and they can estimate your future prognosis

  • Police Officers and First Responders: Law enforcement officers and emergency responders who arrived at the scene of the accident may provide testimony regarding their observations, actions taken, and any statements made by the parties involved

  • Accident Reconstruction Experts: If the accident cause is disputed, accident reconstruction experts can be called to provide a scientific analysis of the incident. This includes speed, impact angles, vehicle dynamics, and give their opinion on who is at fault, why, and what they did wrong

  • Occupational and Vocational Experts: These experts can assess your injury’s impact on your past and future ability to work and earn a living. They give their opinions on your vocational rehabilitation needs, job retraining, and potential lost earning capacity

  • Eyewitnesses to Your Suffering: Healthcare professionals, family members, friends, or colleagues may testify about how you’re responding to your injuries, including signs of your pain, suffering, emotional distress, impact on relationships, physical or mental limitations

Whether these witnesses are available, their use and their importance varies by case. If the defendant doesn’t dispute a factual allegation or an issue, there’s no need for a witness to testify about it.

When are Witnesses Used?

Witnesses are valuable at different stages of a case:

  • Investigation: It’s critical you retain our firm as soon as possible after your accident. The earlier we start an investigation, the greater the chances we’ll reach important witnesses and develop a complete picture of what happened sooner. Witness statements can strengthen or weaken your case. Either way, we can determine your case’s settlement value and be in a better position to create an effective strategy to help you get the most for your claims

  • Negotiations: If you have credible witnesses backing up essential issues, it will help increase your case’s value and make it more difficult for an insurance company to come up with defenses they may want to use to deny your claim or reduce its value

  • Discovery: Part of the litigation process is discovery, where both parties discover facts about the case to fully understand what happened, why, who’s at fault, your damages, the case’s settlement value, and whether the risks of going to trial are justified. Depositions of witnesses are taken. They’re put under oath and questioned by lawyers for both sides. Their answers can fill in essential blanks in your case, and testimony also shows how a witness may respond under the pressure of a trial. They may be calm, convincing, and credible (a good witness) or forgetful, provide shifting or contradictory responses, and not appear truthful (a bad witness). You may ask more to settle if you have good witnesses because you have a stronger case. An insurance company with bad witnesses may be more willing to pay more earlier to avoid going to trial

  • Trial: Witnesses may be called upon to testify at trial. They’re examined by the attorney calling them and cross-examined by opposing counsel. Their credibility may be questioned if they give inconsistent responses. Expert witnesses should be well-educated and experienced in their field and good storytellers who can effectively explain technical issues to jury members. They must also be able to handle cross-examination and hostile questioning from opposing attorneys

You need more than knowledgeable, good witnesses for your case. You also need an attorney like Aaron Hicks who knows which witnesses are required, what questions to ask, which red flags to watch out for, which experts to use, and how to use witnesses to tell your story.

Orange County Personal Injury Attorney Aaron Hicks Represents People Like You

The lawyers at the Hicks Law Firm can answer your questions and address your concerns about seeking compensation for your injuries. We know what’s needed to make your case successful and will protect your right to compensation for the harm you suffer.

Our firm serves personal injury clients throughout Orange County and Southern California. Learn more about our practice areas by calling the Hicks Law Firm at (949) 541-9944, or you can fill out our contact form today, and we will schedule a complimentary consultation.

About the Author:

Aaron Hicks

Attorney Aaron Hicks successfully represent plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury cases all over Orange County, California and Tennessee. It is extremely important that when seeking out a personal injury attorney, that those victims choose one that is both experienced and well versed in this area of law.  There are several important procedures and deadlines that if not properly followed, could ruin that person’s chance of recovery. Aaron Hicks has over 15 years of experience as a personal injury lawyer and can help answer your questions about your unique matter today. Call now to schedule a free consultation.Highly Experienced & Awarded Personal Injury LitigatorAaron Hicks, has an office in Costa Mesa and Tennessee (where he was born) and handles matters throughout Orange County including Irvine, Tustin, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Nashville. Mr. Hicks is actively involved in several associations and organizations, including AAJ, Justice HQ, CAALA, and CAOC, where he serves on the Board of Governors. Additionally, he is a Board Member and past Member of the Year of OCTLA, where he currently holds the position of 1st Vice President for 2023.Mr. Hicks has received numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding work as an attorney. These include AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®, Best Lawyers - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs 2021 and 2022, Best Attorneys of America - Lifetime Member, Super Lawyers of Southern California for 2020-2022,... View full business profile here: Aaron Hicks