The Duty of Witnesses

witness is someone who goes on the record in court to give evidence to support your case. Witnesses can be an integral part of any legal case. Whether through their professional opinion or by recounting what they witnessed, James H. Brown and Associates can help anyone looking for the best injury lawyer in Edmonton. But being a witness is more than going on record with what happened: if you have become a witness to a violent event or have offered to give testimony, keep reading to learn more about your role.

What are the Types of Witnesses?

There are three types of witnesses: eyewitness, expert witness, and character witness. 

Eyewitnesses are people who saw what happened during the event in question. For example, two drivers are involved in a rear-end motor vehicle accident in Edmonton. Driver A denies that it was their fault they hit Driver B, but a witness claims that they saw Driver A on their phone while approaching a stop sign that Driver B had stopped at. This witness is classified as an eyewitness.

Character witnesses give the court a personal insight into the defendant’s morale, reputation, and conduct. If we carry on with the incident from the above example, a character witness may reveal that Edmonton Driver A has a habit of texting and driving with passengers in the vehicle. That character witness tells us that the potential leading cause of the accident would not be an uncommon situation for Driver A.

Expert witnesses are professionals in a field and are the only ones allowed to give opinions that will be considered as evidence in court. These can be doctors, maintenance specialists, psychologists, mechanics, engineers, psychiatrists, or others. Driver B, from above, sustained injuries that a doctor can use their professional opinion of Driver B’s injuries to help better their case. The doctor is an expert witness.

Why Do I Need a Witness for My Case?

You do not need a witness, but witnesses are a reputable way to build your case. A witness will be sworn to tell the truth before presenting potential evidence to the court. The more witnesses you have in your case, the more likely the court is to see the truth.

Can I Have a Strong Case Without a Witness?

Of course! Many cases have been fought and won without witnesses. Sometimes there are no witnesses to the accident, or witnesses are reluctant to testify. This does not mean that your case will fail! Other times, there is no need for certain types of witnesses (i.e. if someone’s character is not in question, there is no need for a character witness).

James H. Brown and Associates are Edmonton’s best injury lawyers and have fought for many different cases over their decades of experience. We know that each case is different and are prepared to handle almost any challenge your case throws our way. 

I am a Witness. What do I Need to Know?

If you have been called to testify or have offered testimony to the court, your duty is to tell the truth of what you know or have seen. You are legally allowed to object to answering questions, but at James H. Brown and Associates, we advise that you do your best to answer truthfully, as lying can result in a perjury charge under s. 131(1) of the Criminal Code, which holds a maximum sentence of up to 14 years of imprisonment. 

Witnesses do not need lawyers, as they are not on trial. They are allowed to consult with lawyers before going to court but by no means need to be represented by a lawyer. Make sure to take time off work or school and arrange childcare if needed. That being said, if you have been a witness to a violent crime, you may be offered support from a witness support group to help you prepare for court.

Depending on the case, you may be allowed to ask a lawyer to protect your privacy rights. Talk to the best injury lawyers in Edmonton at James H. Brown and Associates today for a free consultation. 

Best Personal Injury Lawyers Edmonton

James H. Brown and Associates will help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call +1 (855) 428-0088 to book a free consultation, and one of our best injury lawyers in Edmonton will contact you as soon as possible. 

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