Did your demand letter mention that you have people who saw the accident that led to your serious injuries? The insurance company of the at-fault party may then want to speak to these eyewitnesses.
Here are five things to know about identifying your witnesses.
Don’t give out the identity of a hesitant witness.
An eyewitness who doesn’t wish to speak to an insurer has the right not to talk. Only a court-issued subpoena may make such a witness speak. If a witness doesn’t want you to reveal her identity or contact, tell that to the insurance company.
Don’t tell your witnesses to refuse to speak with the adjuster.
Your witnesses have no legal obligation to talk to the insurance company. However, be careful not to interfere with the insurer’s legal right to gather evidence. Don’t instruct your witnesses not to talk and don’t coach them on what to reveal or not reveal.
The rights of witnesses who agree to speak.
A law firm like Nassar Law handling your personal injury claim can talk to your witnesses about their rights. Generally, witnesses have the right to control when, where, and how they speak to the adjuster. They can refuse to give written statements, be recorded, sign statements, or give personal information they don’t want to reveal.
Ask about the other side’s eyewitnesses.
You should not readily identify your witnesses to an adjuster who is not willing to extend the same favor to you. Tell the adjuster that you will show them your witnesses only if they show you theirs.
You may refuse to reveal your eyewitnesses.
If the insurer’s representative denies the existence of witnesses, write a letter confirming the denial. Conversely, if there are witnesses but the adjuster won’t discuss or identify them, write a letter about the refusal. In your letter ascertain that you won’t reveal your witnesses only because the adjuster refused to disclose the other side’s witnesses.
Legally, insurance companies have the right to gather evidence about reported accidents. But talk to your personal injury attorney before you start discussing witnesses with the adjuster.