However, when in a contested liability situation, a statement of a witness can be crucial to proving a case. Recently, I have been contacted by a driver who was "t-boned" at a busy intersection in San Francisco, when another driver ran the red light. The other driver adamantly argued that my client was the one running the red light and the insurance company for that driver would not accept liability and would not engage in settlement discussions. However, one statement and one written declaration from a witness, who testified that the other driver ran the red light, tipped the scales of of liability in my clients favor, which was enough for insurance company to accept liability and make a settlement offer.
If you have been involved in an injury accident and have a contact information of one or more witnesses, call them as soon as possible and ask them to write down exactly what they saw. This is important because memory tends to fade when it comes to little details that make a big difference, such as location, time of the date, the color of the vehicles involved in the accident and other facts of the incident.
Ideally, your witnesses should be unbiased and disinterested. These should not be your friends or relatives, and the value of the witness who was a passenger in your car at the time of the accident is not very high.