Posted on: 26 January 2018Share
If you claim to have witnesses to your auto accident, there's a good chance the insurance company will request the contact information for them. This can be a tricky situation to handle, since many people don't want to have their personal details given out so freely. Here's how to handle this situation to keep all parties involved happy.
Contact the Witness First
Unless you know the witness and are sure the person wouldn't mind you sharing his or her contact information, it's best to call the witness and let the person know the insurance company would like to speak to him or her. The witness can then either give you permission to share his or her contact details with the insurance company or obtain the insurance adjuster's phone number so he or she can call when it's convenient.
It's important to note that you are not allowed to tell the witness not to call the adjuster or what to say when the person does contact the insurance company. If you do so, you could be accused of witness tampering and the person's testimony may be ignored or thrown out.
However, you are allowed to tell the person how important it is to relay certain aspects of the case. For instance, if the witness knows the liable party smelled like alcohol, you can tell the person to be sure to let the insurance adjuster know that fact.
It's a good idea to either have an attorney contact the witness or consult with one prior to calling the person so you know what to say.
Ask the Insurance Company for Witness Information
The second thing you should do is ask the insurance company for a list of its witnesses, so you can contact and get their version of events. This can be very helpful in confirming whether the company really does have evidence countering your claims and how strong it is.
For instance, if the company says it has someone who saw you run a red light, but the witness indicates he or she isn't too sure about the events, it may make it easier to push for a settlement since the company's defense isn't as robust as it would have you believe.
Be sure to record any interviews you have with the witness (or have your attorney speak to the person). If the insurance company refuses to provide you with a witness list, write a letter to the adjuster confirming that decision. This can be helpful in showing how uncooperative the company was with your case, in the event you need to file a complaint later.
For help handling witnesses to an auto accident or requests from your insurance company, contact a personal injury lawyer