According to The Fresno Bee, the driver who struck and killed a Clovis cyclist in April has not been charged. Clovis Police Chief Matt Basgall stated the case is not dormant as the investigation into the circumstances of this unfortunate death continues. Chief Basgall said it could take another three to four weeks before information is reviewed by an expert witness and a decision is made by the Distract Attorney whether to file felony charges against the driver.

Patrick TeNyenhuis died after he was struck while riding his bicycle on Shaw Avenue east of Leonard Avenue during the early morning hours. The driver of the Toyota sedan who rear-ended TeNyenhuis’ bicycle remained at the scene of the accident but was later released without charges being filed.

The Importance of Eye Witnesses and Expert Witnesses in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case

It is unknown if there were any eyewitnesses in the above case; however, the use of an expert witness may suggest that no one witnessed the collision expect for TeNyenhuis and the driver of the vehicle who struck him. Since TeNyenhuis died, that only leaves the driver of the vehicle to provide police with details regarding what happened that morning prior to the collision.

In a case like this, personal injury attorneys often employ expert witnesses to reconstruct the collision based on the information available. If fault is disputed by the other driver, an expert may be used even if an eye witness is available. Juries tend give expert testimony more weight compared to the testimony of the parties or of an eye witness. This is due in part to the expert being an impartial party to the personal injury case; however, it is also in part due to the person being an “expert” in his or her chosen field. Jurors reason the expert knows more about how and why an accident occurred than the average lay person.

However, this does not diminish the importance of eye witnesses.  An eye witness is also an impartial party to the personal injury case. This witness has no stake in the outcome of the case. Jurors reason that the parties have a stake in the outcome of the case so their testimony may be “slanted” in their favor. However, an independent eye witness has nothing to gain or lose so that person is more likely to tell the facts and circumstances of the motor vehicle accident exactly without any embellishment in either direction.

Do Not Rely on Police to Identity Eye Witnesses

If you are in a motor vehicle accident, do not assume the police will obtain the names and contact information of eye witnesses. Furthermore, an eye witness may not wait around until the police arrive to give a statement. If at all possible, obtain the names and contact information for any eye witness to your vehicle accident. This could increase the chance that your case will settle for the full amount without the necessity of going through a long, costly trial.

Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Injured Victims in Fresno, CA and the Surrounding Central California Valley

Call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444, chat with a representative online, or use our online contact form to get more information about filing a car accident claim and to schedule a free consultation.