Observations made by a 3rd party have the ability to overcome the effect of conflicting statements from the plaintiff and defendant. Still that 3rd party must be perceived as a credible witness.
What sorts of questions might pass through a juror’s mind, when trying to assess the credibility of a given witness?
When was the witness’s attention focused on the accident? Was it before or after the actual collision?
If the witness were another driver, one not involved in the accident, was that same driver concentrating on efforts to avoid a collision with the involved vehicles?
What was the witness’s state of mind, after having observed the unfortunate incident?
If witness were someone that was standing on the side of the road, had he or she been distracted in any way, during the minutes leading up to the accident, or during the span of its occurrence?
When witnesses are wearing a pair of glasses, members of the jury might wonder whether or not that same eye wear must correct for some very poor eyesight. When witnesses keep asking a personal injury lawyer in Kitchener to repeat questions, members of the jury might wonder whether or not those repeated requests have come from someone that is hard of hearing.
Facts that might cause a juror to question a witness’s credibility
Mention of the fact that one of the witnesses has a record of arrests, or of getting in trouble with the law. The fact that one of the witnesses has acquired a respected reputation within his or her community; or indications that someone offering testimony has managed to acquire a bad reputation.
An item of evidence or a piece of information that could suggest that any of the witnesses’ bank accounts might benefit in some way from announcement of a certain verdict.
An observation that might diminish the credible nature of certain testimony
If anyone on the witness stand were to say one thing at a given time, and then something very different on another occasion, any of the 12 pairs of eyes and ears might note that lack of consistency in the 2 contradictory statements.
Sometimes one statement might be made during the deposition, and another made during the trial. Lawyers often highlight the existence of any contradiction between the 2 statements.
In that way the jurors learn about what was said during the deposition. The judge does not object to the mention of a past statement that does not agree with a more recent one.
For that reason, the lawyer’s comments might make anyone on the witness stand appear much less believable. The effect of that appearance might get exaggerated, if doubts have already entered a juror’s mind, with respect to someone’s believability.