24 Hour Toll Free Help

Definition of Witness

A witness is a person who is called to testify in a court case about what they have seen or heard. Their testimony is used as evidence for either the defense or the prosecution. Witnesses are critical to personal injury claims because they can provide evidence and bolster the claim of the plaintiff. Many times the plaintiff will need witnesses to provide evidence that the suing party was not at fault, liable or responsible for causing the accident that injured him or her.For example, a witness can recount car positions, speeds of the cars, weather conditions, environments and settings, and party statements made right after accidents.

A witness can be critical in many states to help the court determine what percentage the plaintiff may have been at fault. In the majority of states an injured claimant's compensation is lowered in proportion to the percentage of his liability, and in some states if the plaintiff was negligent at all they may not be allowed to recover compensation.

Expert witnesses can also be used to discuss complicated testimony. For instance, in a medical malpractice case an expert doctor could testify whether another doctor's actions were negligent and whether they breached their professional standard of care.

« Back to Glossary



Browse Personal Injury Terms Alphabetically:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | ALL