How To Respond To Questions About Your Witnesses?

At some point, if not in during the first conversation, the adjuster might ask whether or not you spoke with any witnesses. Do not try to hide that information. You do not want to look suspicious. Instead, you should appear cooperative.

You might want to share with your witnesses their rights and their obligations.

The named witnesses do not have to speak to the adjuster. Each witness has the right to control when, where and how any meeting with the adjuster should take place. In fact, any witness has the right to ask for the scheduling of a phone interview.

At no point should one of your witnesses be asked by the adjuster to sign a form. If you were to speak separately with any witness, you would have a right to record the witness’ answers, and then to ask for a signature on the sheet with those same answers.

No witness is required to visit the accident site, while in the adjuster’s presence.
Each of the witnesses get to decide on their own whether or not to share any personal information. No witness should be asked to speak with the adjuster’s office more than once.

What about any witnesses that the other party might have? Does a claimant/plaintiff have the right to ask for the witnesses’ names?

Yes, the plaintiff should seek their name and their contact information. The adjuster has no right to withhold that information. Still, any witness named by the adjuster has the same rights and obligations as any of those that you might have spoken with.

In other words, you might be able to speak with a witness, and to write down what he or she said, but you would not be able to ask the adjuster’s witness to sign the paper with those recorded statements. Why is that important?

Do you recall the information on the inability to use a police report at trial? That report contains unsigned statements. The judge would consider it hearsay. A judge would never allow a jury to learn what was in any form of hearsay evidence. So, it could not be submitted at trial.

Similarly, personal injury lawyer in Elgin will ask that if you had a statement that you wrote down while speaking with one of witness’ contacts for the adjuster, you could not use it as evidence, because it would have no signature.

Now, it might seem like either side could tell witnesses what to say, when their statements are going to be signed, and what to say when their statement cannot be used as evidence. Yet if you were to try that, you would be breaking the law. If any adjusters were to try that strategy, they, too, would be breaking the law.