We are all witnesses

By on March 24, 2010 at 7:55 AM

Posted in: Claims

Guest Blogger: Monica M., claims supervisor in Lakeland, FL

Recently, a friend of mine got in an auto accident. When he told me about it, he was adamant that he’d had a green light; that the other party violated his right of way. Unfortunately for him, there were several witnesses who contradicted his version of events. His insurance company paid the claim and had to rightly consider him at fault.

His experience made me contemplate how often people drive by an accident they witness and don’t stop. People think that “everyone looks fine” or “it’s clear which driver was at fault.”  They don’t realize how often the parties involved see things very differently from each other. Without an independent third party, it’s “he said; she said.”

Does the claim get paid? Sadly, there is sometimes insufficient evidence to sort out the responsible party. Claims often don’t resolve as neatly as an episode of CSI.

Furthermore, just because everyone looks OK at the scene doesn’t mean they won’t claim injuries later. Getting an independent witness’s account of how the injured party acted at the scene can be eye-opening to a plaintiff’s attorney contemplating taking the claim into a courtroom.

So next time you witness an accident, take a few moments to safely pull over and let your voice be heard. Your account usually has more weight for the police officer at the scene than the parties involved in the loss, because you have no financial interest in the outcome. Like me, your life is busy, but just a few moments can have a huge impact on the people involved, and can even ensure that justice is served.