An “Independent Non Party Witness” (henceforth “INPW”) is can define the outcome of any contested case. Such witnesses are classically bystanders who have no interest in the outcome of a matter and have a clear opportunity to observe the accident.
An INPW is often a reliable witness and their observations are taken seriously by jurors who are trying to decide the facts.
In order to establish if they have value to your case or not, you must consider some issues:
1) Can it be shown that the INPW has any connection to a party (e.g., related through blood or marriage, friends, co-workers, etc)?
2) If they are claiming to have observed an accident, how is there reliability as a witness? Were they in a physical location where they had an opportunity to properly observe the accident or not? Were they of sound mind (e.g., not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, well rested, mentally stable, etc)? What is their appearance? Do they appear disheveled?
3) Will they allow themselves to be available to testify in open court? Some witnesses are reluctant to appear in court due to the expense and time. Others are intimidated by the idea of being a witness in a courtroom.
Ultimately, we need to analyze the benefits of an INPW and determine if their testimony can help our clients.
Contact the Law Office of Charles DeStefano if you have any questions concerning accidents and your rights as an injured person.