Are Your Witnesses Credible?

Credible Witness Witnesses car accident provide a statement

Witnesses to a car accident are asked to provide a statement about what they saw before the accident occurred, as it was occurring, and after. These statements can help corroborate your claims and the supporting elements of causation and liability, helping you prove the other driver was at fault. However, if they are not seen as a credible witness, he or she may end up hurting your case rather than helping.

Credible Witness: What Affects Witness Credibility?

The definition of credibility is the “quality of being trustworthy or believable.”

It may not matter if your witness had a perfect view of the accident or can speak eloquently to what happened from start to finish if his or her credibility is in question. Factors that can hurt their credibility, making them less believable include:

  • prior criminal record
  • reputation for being dishonest
  • memory problems or being easily confused
  • poor eyesight or hearing (not wearing prescribed eyeglasses or hearing aid at the time of the accident)
  • under the influence of drugs, prescription or over-the-counter medicine, or alcohol
  • history of lying to the police or other authorities
  • testimony that is not clear or consistent


Witness Statements

Your lawyer may need to clarify a witness statement by asking questions such as:

Credible Witness Witnesses car accident provide a statement witness statement corroborate your claims prove the other driver was at fault

Credible witnesses can help your case.

  • Did the witness observe the entire incident? if not, what was the witness doing during that time? how much of the accident did the witness see?
  • At what vantage point was the witness when the incident occurred? was there a clear line of sight or was it impeded by anything making it more difficult to see?
  • Was the witness involved in the incident (e.g., a victim instead of a witness)?
  • Is there a personal relationship between the witness and any participant involved in the case?
  • Is the witness biased toward anyone involved in the case?
  • Does the testimony contradict any other evidence?
  • Does the witness have a public reputation?
  • Was the witness under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the incident?

An essential factor in your case is a witness who saw the accident and can confirm how it happened. Ultimately, you want witnesses who have no stake in the outcome of your case (a neutral third-party), have a high level of credibility, and can provide persuasive testimony that is consistent.

Questions? Call us at (877) 284-6600.


Have you been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence? Call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record of helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve.

In the Kansas City area and across Missouri, the Nash & Franciskato Law Firm will fight for your rights. Contact our legal team today. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.



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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published July 22, 2021. It was reviewed on July 14, 2023 and updated for content and accuracy.

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