Is Eyewitness Testimony Important for a Motorcycle Accident Case?

You probably want to know what you can do to strengthen your case if you have experienced a motorcycle accident. One possibility is to use eyewitness testimony to bolster your other evidence, like the police report and medical records.

Using eyewitness testimony can be risky since you cannot always predict what the witness will say during the pressure of trial. With documentary evidence like medical records, you know what the evidence will reveal at trial. Its story will not change. With eyewitnesses, there are no such guarantees.

Also, sometimes eyewitnesses get it wrong, despite the best of intentions. An eyewitness might have only seen part of the accident and not what led up to it. She could have been standing in a place where something obstructed her vision, or the sun was in her eyes. An eyewitness whose testimony is factually incorrect can hurt your case, but there are times when an accurate eyewitness can help your lawsuit.

When Eyewitness Testimony Can Help Your Motorcycle Accident Case

An eyewitness who had a clear view of what happened, paid attention, and remembers the facts accurately can be vital when someone is contradicting what happened. For example:

  • Liar, liar. If the person who caused your motorcycle accident is trying to escape having to pay for the harm he did to you, he might try to lie his way out of it. If he makes up a false story about what happened and then you tell what did happen, the judge might think of it as a “he said, she said” situation. To tip the scales in your favor, it can be useful to have an eyewitness corroborate your testimony.
  • Police report with errors. Law enforcement officers are human, so sometimes they make mistakes. If the investigating officer wrote it down wrong or misinterpreted the accident scene, you might have to gather your own evidence to tell the judge the true story. Eyewitness testimony is one way to correct errors in the accident report.

Why Eyewitnesses Sometimes Get It Wrong

Some eyewitnesses make false statements intentionally, and others think they are telling the truth, but they have the facts wrong.

Why people inadvertently tell an incorrect or inaccurate version of what they saw. Flawed eyewitness testimony sends many innocent people to prison for crimes they did not commit. Sometimes DNA evidence will convince a judge years later to release the person. While sometimes these eyewitnesses have a motive to lie to the judge, often the eyewitness sincerely believes that he is telling the truth. Some explanations include:

  • Reconstructed memories. Our brains will, without our realizing it, fill in gaps in our memory, even by inventing the information if necessary. As time passes after the motorcycle accident, an eyewitness’ recollection will start to fade. He might not realize it though, because his brain will fill in the gaps. This reconstructed “memory” might happen to be what happened, or it might not be.
  • Incomplete observation of the event. We are seldom standing in the perfect spot to witness an unexpected event like a motorcycle accident. As a result, an eyewitness’ angle might have kept her from seeing the entire incident. A person viewing the wreck from a different perspective might see something that looks very different. Also, if the eyewitness turned to look after hearing the crash, she missed what caused the accident.

How to Get Help for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

The team at S. Burke Law will be happy to talk with you and evaluate your motorcycle accident at no charge. A motorcycle accident lawyer will explain your legal rights, what to do if you were injured, and let you know if you might be eligible for compensation like a settlement. Call us today at 404-842-7838, and we will schedule your free consultation. There is no obligation. We do not charge legal fees until you win.