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.
Easy to Lose Contact
In today’s busy world, it is hard to stay in touch with people even though social media and cell phones exist to make communication easier. If one of your key witnesses loses a cell phone, changes an email address after being hacked, or moves to another country, it could be hard for you to get a statement when you need it. Avoid being placed in this situation by getting a statement immediately after an incident or accident occurs. Securing the information you need immediately reduces your chances of having a witness disappear before you can get a statement.
Case is Taken More Seriously
Depending on the situation, having a witness statement may help you case as a whole by making it seem more serious. The average claims adjuster spends all day listening to justifications regarding settlements from people just like you. When the claims adjuster believes the case is a matter of your word against their client’s word, they are much less likely to offer a fair settlement. When they realize you have witness statements from third parties to back up your version of events, your claim may be taken more seriously.
Discuss Your Options
If you have obtained witness statements, or are having trouble getting started, the best thing you can do is discuss your options with a professional. The lawyers at Brassell Alexander, LLC are here when you need us. Our legal team is prepared to discuss the details of your claim and help you decide how best to proceed. We can also make sure that your witness statements are used to their full advantage to help you achieve the legal outcome that you desire. Contact our office today to set up an appointment so that we can begin discussing your case.