The Importance of Demonstrative Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
Written by Greg on February 28, 2018
An essential element of proving damages in a personal injury case is presenting compelling “demonstrative evidence.” Demonstrative evidence takes the form of, “objects, pictures, models, and other elements presented at a trial or hearing to demonstrate the facts that the plaintiff is trying to prove.
Being able to not only present but also demonstrate the severity of injury of the victim in a personal injury case is what separates one lawyer from another. Useful demonstrative evidence can be the key to helping your jury understand the severity of an injury.
Demonstrable evidence comes in many different forms depending on the specific fact one is attempting to prove.
Demonstrable evidence must first be approved for use by a judge and must be probative and not prejudicial. Gruesome photographs of a dead person or the severed body parts of a person killed in an auto accident might be deemed too shocking and thus prejudicial to be admissible.
In a personal injury case that a person is trying to prove that their broken leg was the result of an automobile accident, demonstrable evidence would include x-rays taken of their leg at the time of the emergency room visit following the crash. If a person had slipped or tripped and fell on another person’s property and was trying to prove their injuries were a result of their negligence, the surveillance videotape could be considered demonstrable evidence.
Often a treating Doctor will use demonstrative evidence to explain the treatment and extent of injury.
In a case where a person killed due to the negligence of another, one would look for ways to show the jury forensic evidence that could prove the negligence of the other party or the mechanism of injury.
Photographs that were taken of automobile accident damage, maps of the streets where the accident occurred, and animations of a vehicle’s movement making a turn or at an intersection would also be considered items of demonstrable evidence.
Demonstrable evidence makes the facts of the case against the defendant clearer to a judge or a jury without inflaming their emotions and explains to them how an accident occurred or how severely the plaintiff was injured.
Demonstrable evidence can also be the facts, charts, diagrams, drawings and other items that support the testimony of a witness to the event. Other things included under the term demonstrable evidence would medical illustrations showing the surgery and hardware.
The Lawyer You Choose Matters
It is the job of a skilled personal injury lawyer to represent the facts about a client’s accident as clearly and succinctly as possible, and the effort, skill, and experience of your injury lawyer can mean the difference between winning or losing your case.
Presenting demonstrable evidence is available to both the plaintiff trying to prove the negligence of another or damages as well as to the defendant.