How to Serve as a Witness

Serving as a witness in a court case can be nerve-wracking for many individuals.

With the proper planning and guidance, serving as a witness is usually a smooth process. To help you prepare, we’ve developed the following suggestions. If you’d like to talk to a lawyer, we’re also here to help. Click here to contact us.

Honest & Clear

Do not lie on the witness stand. You have been asked and have agreed to provide truthful answers to the questions you are asked in the courtroom; please abide by that promise.

If the individual questioning you is particularly soft-spoken, the room is loud, or another factor prevents you from hearing the question, ask to have the question repeated. If you don’t fully comprehend what you are being asked, ask for clarification of the question.

Brief & Courteous

Do not interrupt the questioner by answering before they are finished asking the question. Once the question has been asked, answer it as briefly as possible. Do not share information you have not been questioned about.

Be courteous to every individual involved in the court process at all times. Don’t lose your temper or get angry, no matter the circumstance. Don’t guess; if you don’t remember something clearly or don’t know something, make that clear.

Discussing Injuries

If you are a witness because of a personal injury, share your injuries in detail. Be honest and start at the top of your head and move down to your feet to be sure that you don’t forget any of your injuries. You can volunteer information related to your injuries, especially in terms of your pain and limitations.

So, let’s recap. Here are 10 quick reminders to keep in mind:

  1. Always tell the truth.
  2. Be sure that you hear and understand the question before you answer it.
  1. Wait until the question is complete before answering the question.
  1. Answer the question as briefly as possible and stop. 
  1. Do not volunteer information. Listen carefully to the question, answer the question directly and briefly, and then wait for the next question.
  1. Be humble, respectful, and courteous to everyone involved in this process at all times.
  1. Do not get angry or lose your temper under any circumstances.
  1. Do not guess. If you do not remember something, say so. If you do not know something, admit it. You have nothing to gain by guessing. If you guess wrong, you are stuck with your answer.
  2. Explain your injuries in detail, but do so with honesty. You may volunteer information in your answer concerning your injuries, particularly in terms of your pain and limitations.
  1. It’s not a good idea to try and memorize your story. You’re only obligated to tell your account to the best of your abilities. Don’t worry about trying to memorize prepared remarks.

Are you a victim of a personal injury incident? The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC can advocate on your behalf and help you get the justice you deserve. Our team will be there for you every step of the way. Contact the Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC today by calling 614-488-2270.

Ask Tom a Legal Question »

Sign up for our Newsletter

Get some great content emailed to you