Congratulations for taking the first step and realizing that your testimony matters. When you agree to speak as a witness in a criminal or personal injury lawsuit, you are taking on a very important role that will likely have a big impact on the outcome. In some instances, just a written or spoken testimony prior to any trial will be enough to cause a pre-court settlement. However, there is the chance that you will have to go before a jury.
A lot can happen in a case if your testimony is meaningful, so it is a very good idea to be prepared, especially if it is an accident case such as a Tampa auto accident. Remember, both sides of the trial want to win the case and your statements can make them or break them, so be prepared to answer difficult questions. Going in practiced and composed is ideal. If you are not familiar with courtroom proceedings, it might be a good idea to sit in on a different case before your big day on the stand. This can provide some insight into how things are handled.
Though the outcome may not affect you personally, if you wish to be taken seriously, it is wise to dress and speak well. Professional dress and well phrased statements will make you appear a more trustworthy source of information. Be sure to tell the truth about what you saw, heard, or otherwise witnessed. It is never wise to lie, but you can always admit that you “don’t know” or “can’t remember.”
As with the main parties of the case, it is wise that you pay attention to the proceedings as they take place around you. This is especially true when you are on the stand. Be sure that you are hearing and comprehending everything that is being said to you or around you, so you can provide the most accurate and meaningful answers possible. Keep your responses calm, clear, and loud enough for all in attendance to hear. If you have to estimate a time, distance, or size of something, be sure to say that you are only providing an educated guess. Remember, those words really do matter.