Auto accident cases in Illinois tend to revolve around witness testimony, but it may not be the kind you expect. There are, in fact, two main types of witnesses you may find on the stand.

These two categories have very little in common except for the fact that they have the potential to be important to a judge’s final decision on the facts. Understanding how these personal testimonies interact with hard evidence is one of the key requirements for building a persuasive case.

First-hand witnesses

People who experience the accident would present facts. You, the other driver and possibly even onlookers could all offer important testimony before the court. These details could include the other driver’s speed, the color of traffic signals and even weather conditions.

You could have an effect on this type of testimony by collecting contact information from everybody at the scene. You would usually want as many stories as possible if you intend to prove fault.

Expert witnesses

The other category of testimony comes from expert witnesses, who analyze facts. These could be crash-testing professionals, medical experts, forensic specialists or anyone else able to make a studied or experienced comment on the facts of your case. Since every case is different, your set of expert witnesses would be unique to you.

In addition to being experts, your witnesses should be able to communicate effectively. The best candidate is often someone who understands the subject she or he intends to speak about, as well as how the legal system works. This combination would make it possible to highlight the aspects of your material situation most relevant to the argument being made.

When your first-hand witnesses and your providers of expert testimony come together, they should provide a cohesive perspective on the facts of your case. The judge will decide on the facts — including what your witnesses say — in the context of statute and legal precedent. However, if your witnesses and fact look strong enough ahead of time, the other side of your suit may settle before you even have to go to court.