Contact Witnesses Soon
Contact your witnesses soon. Do not wait for the insurance adjuster to
contact them first, because he makes a living by turning situations into
support for his company's position. He is trained and knowledgeable in
putting testimony into the minds of witnesses and getting them to agree
with a certain version of purported facts.
You should be the first person to call the witnesses. If you are too
injured to call, have a family member or friend make the calls for you.
Make the contact as simple and unobtrusive as possible, explaining your
circumstances and stating that you are seeking their help in knowing and
documenting what actually happened.
Be sure to let witnesses know that they are under absolutely no obligation
to speak with the insurance adjuster. They can tell the insurance adjuster
that they have given a written statement to the police, for example. You
don't want to instruct them not to speak with the adjuster because that may
constitute interference, and you want the witness's testimony to appear
objective. More than that, you want their testimony to be objective. You
might, however, tell them if they choose to speak with the insurance
adjuster, they are under no obligation to be recorded. They may choose to
tell the adjuster to just jot down their comments and write it up, sending
it to them for a signature.
If they agree to be recorded, you could tell them they have a right to get
a copy of their statement and that it would be a good idea to come to an
agreement with the adjuster on that prior to being recorded. You can ask
them for a copy of their statement after they receive it. There is nothing
wrong with their giving you a copy of the statement that they have given to
the insurance adjuster.