If you have been asked to sign a document by a solicitor, such as a Witness Statement for Court proceedings, then it will usually have a Statement of Truth at the end of it.
What are Statements of Truth?
It is a declaration that the person signing the document does so honestly believing that the content of the document is correct. It is essential that you do believe the content of the document to be accurate and truthful when you sign a Statement of Truth. It is also important that you consider that your evidence contained in a Statement has been expressed in your own words, the way you would say it, rather than anyone having ‘put words in your mouth’.
What do Statements of Truth look like?
In Court documents, it will read as:
“I, [name], believe the facts stated in these [name of document] are true”.
On a witness statement, it will usually appear in two parts, within the body of the document:
“the matters referred to in this witness statement are within my knowledge except where stated otherwise.”
and, usually at the end of the document:
“I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true”.
What will happen if I sign a Statement of Truth knowing that the information is inaccurate?
Solicitors have a professional duty not to mislead the Court. If it came to light that part of your evidence was not accurate, we would not be able to submit this information to the Court as we would be in breach of our professional obligations.
If a Court decided that you did not have an honest belief in the accuracy of your statement when you signed a Statement of Truth or when you swore that it was true in Court, you could be found in contempt of Court. This is a criminal offence designed to protect Court proceedings from dishonesty. Offenses of contempt of Court can result in fines, orders to pay costs and in some cases imprisonment.
Advice we can give you
Simply be completely honest, accurate and truthful with your solicitor and when signing any documents. Problems proving some issues can often be easily sorted out if you talk to us, but if you attempt to sort it out yourself, and get it wrong, even with the best intentions it can end up potentially undermining your claim or the person’s claim that you are trying to help.
If you can’t remember something, try not to be tempted into being overly helpful, and then finding you are being asked to sign a Statement containing things that you are not really sure about. Just say that you do not remember–after all, it is the truth!
About Medical Solicitors
Our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors have a lot of experience in bringing successful medical negligence claims.
Compensation can be claimed where there has been delay in getting a patient to hospital, delay in diagnosis, inappropriate advice given concerning care options and risks and benefits of such options, where there have been excessive delays in providing actual treatment, or where there has been any substandard care that amounts to actual Medical Negligence.
Do contact our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors. We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, you do not have to worry about how you are going to afford to bring a medical negligence claim for compensation. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.