Traffic accidents can result in serious injuries or fatalities. When a motor vehicle accident occurs, it can sometimes be difficult for investigators to determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
Such was the case in October of this year when a fatal traffic accident occurred near the intersection of Verdugo and Windsor Road here in Glendale, California. The collision happened on October 11, 2019, at approximately 2:05 p.m. and involved a 1998 black Mercedes E320 and a 2019 Lexus ES 300h.
The vehicles hit each other while both were traveling at a high rate of speed. In the immediate aftermath of the collision, one of the vehicle occupants was trapped in their vehicle, which subsequently caught on fire. This victim later died from his injuries. Police are still looking for information regarding the exact cause of the accident and seeking potential eyewitness testimony from nearby vehicle drivers and passengers.
The importance of eyewitness testimony
During traffic accident investigations, eyewitness testimony can be extremely helpful in determining exactly what happened in the accident. In this article, we will review two different types of testimony and how both can play a role in determining what happened, who the at-fault party is, and what next steps should be taken in subsequent legal proceedings.
If you have suffered injuries in a traffic accident that you did not cause, the experienced Glendale traffic accident lawyers at Blair & Ramirez LLP may be able to help. Our legal team can assist you in investigating the circumstances of your accident—including finding and talking to witnesses. Call Blair & Ramirez LLP today at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online to learn more about how we can assist you with your traffic accident case.
Testimony from lay witnesses
Lay witnesses are eyewitnesses who were present at the time of a motor vehicle collision. These third parties can be especially helpful when it comes to piecing together exactly what happened. On roads and highways, lay witnesses may be other motor vehicle drivers or passengers who were in the vicinity and who observed the accident unfold in front of them. A lay witness could also be a bystander or pedestrian who clearly saw the accident and what transpired.
A lay witness may be able to testify about any of the following matters:
- The respective speeds of the vehicles that were involved in the traffic accident.
- The movements of the vehicles and the directions in which they were traveling.
- Whether the driver of one of the vehicles appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (i.e., making erratic movements, swerving, etc.)
- The positions of the vehicles on the roadway at the time immediately before and after the collision.
An important note about lay witnesses: their recollection of exactly what transpired in a high-speed crash can falter as time passes. This is why it is essential that traffic accident victims contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to get started on an investigation and talking to on-scene witnesses.
Testimony from expert witnesses
In contrast to a lay witness, an expert witness is an individual who has specialized knowledge, training, education, or experience in a particular field. In addition to making an opinion about the subject case, an expert witness could draw upon his or her knowledge and experience to address hypothetical questions. Potential expert witnesses in a traffic accident case could include an accident reconstructionist, medical provider, economist, or other professional.
An accident reconstructionist, for example, could investigate the accident and make a determination about how the accident likely happened and who likely caused or contributed to it.
Speak with a Glendale traffic accident attorney today
In personal injury cases arising from a traffic accident, the injured accident victim should start by contacting an attorney specializing in vehicle accidents and injuries. Here in Glendale and the Los Angeles metro area, the experienced attorneys at Blair & Ramirez LLP can help you retain the necessary expert or experts needed to prove your case.
To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with one of our Glendale traffic accident lawyers, please call us at (213) 568-4000 or contact us today.