Don’t Do These Things When Recruiting Witnesses for Your Personal Injury Case

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A credible and compelling witness can make or break your personal injury case. If you have a witness in mind, knowing what not to do when calling then can be just as crucial as knowing the right steps to take. Here are some actions to avoid when recruiting witnesses for your personal injury claim:

Don’t Go by First Impressions Alone

Suppose you’re talking to a potential witness who comes across as pleasant and helpful. It might be tempting to view them as a compelling witness, but a friendly demeanor doesn’t always indicate they know all the facts or can communicate effectively. Calling a witness who seems nice but doesn’t remember key facts or distorts details may hurt your case.

Don’t Overlook Expert Witnesses

Depending on the type of injury or incident you experienced, proving your case may require the testimony of an expert in a specialized area. Your case may need support that includes information or evidence the average person wouldn’t know or understand. For example, if you’re bringing a product liability suit, you probably want testimony from a manufacturing expert who can speak to the defects of the faulty product.

Don’t Be Forceful When Asking a Witness to Testify

A prospective witness should feel they have complete control over whether they testify on your behalf. Pressuring someone could compel them to react in a hostile manner or turn down your request. When calling a witness, always be respectful and considerate. They deserve a calm and clear explanation of what you’re asking them to do.

Don’t Try to Get a Witness to Lie

It should go without saying that lying under oath in court is inappropriate and illegal. Attempts at perjury are typically met with swift justice. Nevertheless, a skilled lawyer should be able to prepare a witness by enabling them to tell their story in a way that helps your personal injury case. Getting them comfortable with the questions and being cross-examined can also help them feel confident when they take the stand.

Don’t Hesitate to Seek Professional Assistance

It’s possible that you may not be able to locate the proper witnesses on your own. That’s why hiring a private investigator or having your lawyer do so can be especially helpful. Private investigators have special skills for locating hard-to-find individuals and asking the right questions.

Also, don’t hesitate to leave handling witnesses up to your local accident liability attorney. You can give them potential witnesses’ names and contact information, but let your lawyer do the heavy lifting in interviewing them and evaluating what they bring to your claim.

Don’t Forget to Thank Your Witnesses

Gratitude usually goes a long way. Witnesses play a crucial role in your personal injury case, and some of what they say can influence the settlement you can obtain. A witness might even be willing to help you despite their discomfort and inconvenience. Therefore, thank your witnesses for their time and well-thought testimony.

The Best Cincinnati Accident and Wrongful Death Litigants

Avoiding certain pitfalls can help you avoid mistakes in recruiting and preparing witnesses for your personal injury claim. A qualified Cincinnati-based injury lawyer can help you avoid those pitfalls and offer excellent advice regarding witnesses. If you’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence, contact our team at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen LPA, Co., to get answers and to schedule an appointment. Our attorneys will work hard to understand your legal issues and determine the best approach to incorporating witness testimony in your case.