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The Importance of Eye Witness Testimony in Automobile Accident Cases

For many personal injury cases stemming from automobile accidents, there may be no particular eye witnesses, except for the actual parties to the accident. Where there is a third-party, whether a passenger in one of the nearby cars, a pedestrian on the street or some other observer, it is critical to find out what that witness may have seen and whether such observer could have been in a position to reliably report one’s observations. Some witnesses may have reached conclusions based on reports or reactions from other people or speculative inferences based on what one only heard from the sounds of a crash. Other potential witnesses may have been impaired by alcohol or drug consumption or possess a disability which restricts or degrades the potential witnesses’ ability to perceive.


In any event, those people involved in an automobile accident which warrants  a personal injury claim with an insurance company, or a civil suit in court, are well-advised to immediately get contact information from any eyewitnesses. If possible, talk to the witness about what they claim to have seen. Usually the police will talk to various people at an accident scene but often their investigation is not complete. It is necessary to make sure that any witness who may have testimony about how another driver may have caused an accident can be reached in the days after the incident occurred.


People injured from automobile accidents should seek to retain legal counsel as soon as possible after the accident occurs in order to discuss with their attorney the best way to make contact with eye witnesses in the days following an automobile accident. In this regard, time is of the essence. An eye witness who has no interest in the outcome of a personal injury case or claim will have little incentive to recall the events he or she may have seen. In order to avoid the problem of a fading memory, and to memorialize the recollections in a way that will bolster that witness’ memory during the course of the case, it is important that such witnesses be contacted soon after the automobile accident takes place. By reviewing with them their observations, their testimony can be reduced to a written statement which can be utilized later in the case and may be necessary to refresh their memory many months or years later if there is a need for them to testify.


The attorneys at Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. represent individuals in personal injury suits in New Mexico. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Call the office at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at for more information

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