Mullen & Mullen Law Firm

How to Make Sure You Have Credible Witnesses Supporting You

Going to trial? Have a feisty claims adjuster? This is how a lawyer can ruin or boost the credibility of witnesses to your auto accident.

So many factors go into the final outcome of your car accident claim. While most injury claims do not go to court, about 10% do. And that’s where having credible witnesses can make a huge difference in your case.

But, you can’t have just any old witness. For example, say they look like your average, fine, upstanding Texan. They speak intelligently. They have a clean and neat appearance.

Everything looks good, right? But then a background check shows they have a history of felony drug possession. Even though they’ve kept their criminal record clean for the last couple years, their credibility is seriously damaged just because of that past transgression. You might not want to have that person testifying on your behalf unless it is absolutely necessary.

What Makes a Witness Look Credible to the Jury?

What do juries tend to think that makes a witness appear credible? Here are some factors they are likely to consider:

  1. The consistency of the statements the witness gives and timing of the statements (shortly after the event or some time removed from same)
  2. Whether it appears the witness recalls your accident accurately
  3. If his or her description of events seem realistic
  4. If they appear to be lying
  5. The attitude of the witness
  6. If the witness had any apparent “axe to grind” against either side (bias)
  7. The prior criminal record of the witness
  8. The physical appearance of the witness

These are all factors you would likely consider if you were serving as a juror on a criminal or civil case. But, you likely won’t know some of the next stuff.

How Can a Defending Lawyer Ruin the Credibility of Your Witness?

Here’s how a lawyer might do that:

So as you can see, adjusters and defense lawyers can attempt to make good, respectable people come across as complete liars and fools. This is yet another reason why you need the best personal injury lawyer you can get on your side.