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Would the eye witness account of a dependent witness hold any weight in a car accident?

New York, NY |

would the officer lay charges for running a stop sign on the basis of the dependent witness.

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Attorney answers 4


Dependent witness; hats's a new one to me. Do you mean an interested witness, such as a friend or relative?

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


Any investigating officer will give more weight to an independent witness vs. a friend or relative of yours.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


The simple answer is yes. I assume you mean the witness is a friend or family member of the operator of the vehicle that is accused of having run a stop sign. Ultimately it is up to the trier of fact (judge or jury) to determine the weight to be given to any particular witness' testimony but in my experience, interested witnesses can be a persuasive as disinterested witnesses depending on multiple factors. You should discuss this with your attorney.

Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change appropriately.


I assume from your question that there is some dispute in determining liability for a car crash. If you go to trial, the judge or jury (depending on if there is a jury trial) will assess all the evidence presented. That may include the testimony of the two parties, in this case both drivers, and any witnesses. There may be evidence including maps, photographs and information about a traffic device (e.g., information about the timing of lights). The jury will make a determination based on all the evidence. In doing so, the jury will weigh the testimony of each witness in how the person appears on the witness stand, how the testimony comports with other evidence and the interest that a witness may have. An independent witness, one who is not connected to either the plaintiff or the defendant, will tend to have more weight than a family member or friend.
In the end, the jury will judge each witness on both an intellectual level and a gut level: do I trust this person?

As my colleagues have suggested, I would consult your attorney if you are concerned about the impact of a particular witness.

The Schlitt Law Firm and Carol L. Schlitt provide answers for informational purposes only. If this answer is helpful, please mark the “helpful” button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thank you. We are a plaintiffs-only, personal injury and medical malpractice law firm representing clients in the New York metropolitan area. We offer personal services built on the values of communication, education and responsiveness. Please understand that legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who has a familiarity with the law concerning your question. This answer does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you are in the New York metropolitan area, feel free to call us at 1-800-660-1466 or contact our website and I will see if we can help you.

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