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OBJECTIVES  Understand when, why and from whom statements are taken  Get a witness on your side to enable you to obtain their evidence  Create a.

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Presentation on theme: "OBJECTIVES  Understand when, why and from whom statements are taken  Get a witness on your side to enable you to obtain their evidence  Create a."— Presentation transcript:

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3 OBJECTIVES  Understand when, why and from whom statements are taken  Get a witness on your side to enable you to obtain their evidence  Create a witness statement  Appreciate the pitfalls and the problems in obtaining an incorrect statement

4 AGENDA  Reasons for taking a statement  When should statements be taken  From whom should statements be taken  What to include and what to exclude  How to obtain a statement  Statement taking rules  Statement taking – document format  Assessing your witness  Pitfalls  12 Point Plan  Statement taking - a summary  Questions

5 WHAT IS A STATEMENT? “A signed statement is a detailed report or a verbatim statement written in the first person by someone who has knowledge of an accident or occurrence” “It is the adjuster’s absolute duty to take an intangible, incoherent and spotty “report” and without changing the contents or the personal idiosyncrasies, convert it into a legible written account which will be clearly understood by even the dullest Judge”.

6 REASONS FOR TAKING A STATEMENT  To prove your case - or disprove your opponents  To give clients evidence of investigations  To support a denial of liability (CPR)  To jog a witnesses memory  To prevent an alternative version of events

7 WHEN SHOULD STATEMENTS BE TAKEN?  As soon as possible after the event  In all cases where we intend to deny liability either in full or part  In all serious incidents where our clients potential exposure is high

8 WOULD YOU TAKE A STATEMENT FROM THIS MAN?

9 FROM WHOM SHOULD STATEMENTS BE TAKEN? FOUR CATEGORIES AEye witnesses to the event BEye witnesses to events immediately before or after the accident CWitnesses to background facts DNegative witnesses “Put your witness to the test”

10 WHAT TO INCLUDE AND EXCLUDE FROM A STATEMENT  Statements are in the first person  Use the witnesses own choice of words  Keep the witness honest - include “bad” evidence as well as “good”  Keep witnesses to the point  No guesswork!  No blame!  Avoid profanity or derogatory remarks  Make it legible  Avoid hearsay RULES

11 HEARSAY

12 HEARSAY “Almost 1300 vehicles were set alight from Lille in the North to Montpellier on the Mediterranean on Saturday night. More than 30 vehicles were also burnt in the Place de la Republic and the 17th Arrondissement in Central Paris. Hormones in the brain may explain why women have fewer motoring accidents than men. A study by the University of Bradford suggests that women are twice as likely to switch tasks to avoid an accident as a man because of the presence of oestrogen. Men tend to carry on with the original task.”

13 HOW TO OBTAIN A STATEMENT  Make sure the witness is there!  Get the witness on your side - put them at ease  Interview them one to one in a quiet environment  If possible - assure them that they will have no financial, criminal or disciplinary exposure  Be flexible  Explain  Show an interest - do not be a know all  Above all - listen Out of office

14 FORMAL RULES  Contents  The body of the statement  The format of the statement  What if the witness cannot read or write  Alterations  General rules for signature of statements

15 ASSESSING YOUR WITNESS  What is your witness like?  Will they be able to give evidence in Court?  Do you doubt their integrity or impartiality?

16 WHAT GIVES A LIAR AWAY?

17 PITFALLS  Rasool -v- West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (1974)  Alex Lawrie Factors -v- Morgan (1999)

18 SUMMARY  The 12 Point Plan  Summary

19 OUR OBJECTIVES WERE  Understand when, why and from whom statements are taken  Get a witness on your side to enable you to obtain their evidence  Create a witness statement  Appreciate the pitfalls and the problems in obtaining an incorrect statement

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