Any witness who will give testimony in a court case will be required to swear an oath first. This is a promise to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” All three parts of this oath are significant. They essentially mean:
- You will not lie
- You won’t leave anything out
- You won’t try to deceive or mislead anyone
This oath is standard for witnesses in any personal injury case, such as car accident claims and slip and fall claims, but only if the case actually goes to court. If it is settled out of court, in most cases witnesses will not need to be sworn in.
The courts generally treat any testimony given under oath as admissible evidence, unless there is a clear reason to believe it is false. There are heavy penalties for lying under oath, known as perjury.
As the person who was injured, you will almost certainly be asked to take an oath and give testimony in court.
Does my oath have to be religious?
No. In the United States, there are two different versions of the oath. One is religious and one is not:
- Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
- Do you solemnly affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under pains and penalties of perjury?
Both oaths are considered equal in the eyes of the law.
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