How to draft a Witness Statement
Posted on 10th January 2020
When preparing for a trial, your personal injury solicitors Preston will need to draft a Witness Statement to be submitted to the Court. A Witness Statement is an opportunity for a particular witness to set out their version of events of a particular matter. The Witness can, in their own words, set out, to the Court, exactly what has happened, leading to the present case.
Normally, you may think of a witness as a bystander who has witnessed a particular event occurring. This is the case, however, what many forget is that the Claimant themselves, who has been subject to the incident is question, is also a witness, who has actually witnessed the events first hand. The Statement of the Claimant is, therefore, an important factor which your personal injury solicitors Preston would begin drafting quite some time before trial. This allows your accident compensation solicitors to draft the Statement, but also allows sufficient time to discuss with the Witness and re-visit any points which may require change in order that the same can be approved by the Witness.
There is a set format in which your accident compensation solicitors should set out the Witness Statement. Your solicitors in Preston are required to conform to a specific format, as discussed within Part 32 of the Civil Procedure Rules, and include a number of details which include, however, are not limited to:
- The claim number and the court in which the matter is to be heard.
- Full name and address of the witness.
- To number each paragraph and clearly set out the witness evidence.
- To conclude the Statement with a Statement of Truth, to be signed and dated by the witness.
It is important to include as much relevant detail to the case as possible within the Statement. This is because it is being presented to the Court, whom have never met the parties involved, nor do they know anything about the case. It is, therefore, imperative that as much detail as possible is provided to your accident compensation solicitors to draft the Statement. If there is vital information to the case, which has not been included within the Statement, it may be harder to rely upon at trial. You must, therefore, ensure you provide a full account of matters to your personal injury solicitors Preston.
When providing this information to your personal injury solicitors Preston you must, however, be mindful to ensure that the facts being presented are true and an accurate representation of what occurred at the incident in question. If you provide a false account, your integrity may be doubted at Court which could have major detrimental impacts to the case.
Witnesses are usually cross-examined at trial. This means that they will be questioned, by the opposition, on the evidence that they have provided. As your accident claim solicitors, we cannot express enough how important it is, at this stage, to be consistent with your responses and evidence. If there are any discrepancies or contradictions between the evidence on the Statement and the responses at Court, these will be picked up on and may be used against the case. Your accident claim solicitors will go over the Statement with you a number of times to ensure that you are 100% happy with the contents and that they are a true reflection of the incident in question to ensure no issues arise in this respect. If there is anything you are unsure of, your solicitors in Preston are on hand to help.
Under Practice Direction 22, of the Civil Procedure Rules, your personal injury solicitors Preston will require that the Witness Statement is signed off with a Statement of Truth. The Statement will usually read ‘I can confirm that the facts contained within this witness statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief’. This reiterates the fact that the information within the Statement must be factual and correct.
For more information on Witness Statements, or any other personal injury query contact MG Legal at firstname.lastname@example.org and our accident compensation solicitors will be delighted to assist.
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