Witness Interviews in the COVID Era
Witness statements can play an extremely important part in telling the details of a particular event. Often times this is the only evidence available after an incident such as a slip and fall, assault, and in motor vehicle accidents where the police were not present.
COVID 19 has certainly complicated taking statements in situations where you lack contact information about the witness or that information has changed. For instance, if an accident happened at the workplace and a coworker was a witness, simply showing up to the office to get a statement is most likely no longer an option.
Today, we find the best bet in getting a statement is by phone.
There are circumstances where you must begin by locating a current phone number, such as the case when a phone number contained in a TCR (traffic collision report) is incorrect or discontinued.(We see this often) Once we have located a current phone number, we reach out to the person to gauge their cooperation. If cooperative we schedule a phone interview.
The process begins by gathering all relevant data before we make the call. If this was a traffic collision, we would pull up photos of the intersection or location of the crash, do a quick background on the subject, and read through the TCR to get a full understanding so we can ask the most appropriate questions. We have a list of questions we ask based on the type of incident that cover all important data points.
Our phone interview station was constructed from components you might find in a recording studio. Professional mixing board, condenser mics and headphones give us the best sound quality through our VOIP phone service, making for a clear and concise statement that removes the possibility of errors or mumbled speech.
Once a recording is collected we use AI software to transcribe and time stamp the recording for quick reference.
Of course we still offer the ability to locate and identify witnesses that may be valuable for your case, even in the COVID era. If you have witnesses you need to identify, locate, background check, interview, or serve, please give us a call or shoot us an email and we can get started today.