Early in August of 2018, a surgeon from Lancaster won a settlement for his unfair dismissal from National Health Service (NHS). The surgeon claimed his dismissal was retaliatory after he served as a witness for several medical malpractice cases brought against the facility. While technically viewed as a whistleblower case, the surgeon’s situation shows the importance of having witness statements when pursuing a personal injury or malpractice claim. Often having the statement of one person can make a large difference in how your case is viewed. Once you understand how valuable witnesses testimony can be, you can consider why getting witness statements as quickly as possible is crucial.
People Quickly Forget Details
When an incident first occurs, it stands out vividly in the mind of the observer. As time goes on, it becomes harder to remember exact details no matter how memorable those details initially seemed to be. Studies have shown that it takes only a few seconds for a person to forget 15% of an original memory. Knowledge leaves the short-term memory quickly, making it harder for your witnesses to remember everything correctly as more time goes on. The best way to protect the knowledge that they hold is to get your witness to record a statement as soon as possible. Not only does having the statement in writing help you, it also serves as a memory cue helping your witness correctly recall events after a long period of time has passed.