Demonstrative Evidence in a Personal Injury Trial
Written by Greg on June 14, 2013
Demonstrative evidence is evidence that is evidence other than testimony in the trial of the case. Demonstrative evidence in a personal injury trial can be such things as a photograph of a wrecked vehicle, the accident scene or even a medical depiction of the injuries sustained by the victim.
The importance of effective use of demonstrative evidence can not be overstated. This is particularly true when it comes to issues such as medical condition and medical treatment. It is very important for the personal injury attorney to be able to convey to the jury, a clear sense of what the injury is and the medical treatment for that injury.
Typically, x-rays or MRI reproductions or illustrations can be used in conjunction with a treating physician testifying about the medical condition. The old saying that a picture is worth 1000 words certainly applies in personal injury litigation.
The more complex and the case, the more demonstrative evidence is important to simplify the issues and allow the jury to understand the facts. Demonstrative evidence can also be used in explaining how an accident occurred and one of the easiest methods is for a model to be used. Many expert witnesses use reproductions or computer animations to explain the accident scenario.
In the old days, graphs and charts were used to convey information on a image basis. With the rapid increase in technology, once we had to outsource trial exhibits and today many of the same trial exhibits can be produced in house at little expense.
Timelines are now created by apps available in almost every operating system. Photo editing is now even available on mobile devices like the iPhone. Movies and videos can now be produced in house where at one time the cost was excessive to create a day in the life film or other demonstrative aid.
Technology has also allowed trial attorneys to use tools such as the iPad to reproduce on a screen the trial exhibit or demonstrative aid. Having the ability to pull up an image at the touch of a finger is a very powerful tool for the personal injury practitioner.
Many plaintiffs personal injury attorneys and also defense attorneys have gone to the iPad as a tool in lawsuits.
When used in conjunction with testimony from a live witness, demonstrative evidence is a necessary and powerful tool in a personal injury trial.
Baumgartner Law Firm 6711 Cypress Creek Parkway
Houston, TX 77069