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Ensuring Demonstrative Evidence Is Admitted In Court

Ensuring Demonstrative Evidence Is Admitted In Court

Ensuring Demonstrative Evidence Is Admitted In Court

Ensuring Demonstrative Evidence Is Admitted In Court

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis Personal Injury Attorney. The outcome of many personal injury cases hinges on complicated issues that require the testimony of experts. Expert testimony, while helpful, can be extremely technical and difficult for the typical jury member to understand. Fortunately, most courts allow the use of demonstrative evidence, which is not itself considered substantive evidence, but instead is designed to help a jury understand the facts of the case. Ensuring that demonstrative evidence goes before a jury requires planning and research, so if you were injured in an accident, it is important to obtain the advice of a dedicated personal injury attorney who has significant trial experience and will aggressively represent your interests.

Types of Demonstrative Evidence

Examples of demonstrative evidence used in personal injury cases include:

  • Computer animations depicting future treatment or surgery;
  • Maps and diagrams of specific locations that illustrate the site of the accident;
  • Radiology films;
  • Medical or anatomical models of the human body, including the spine, brain etc.;
  • Tables illustrating future medical treatment or work restrictions;
  • Timelines and summaries of work history, medical history, recommended future medical treatment, medications, work status, and disabilities;
  • Medical diagrams depicting specific injuries or anatomy;
  • Videos that show movement of vehicles, the human body, or equipment in a specific type of event;
  • Tables demonstrating economic damages suffered by the victim; and
  • Animations illustrating an expert’s opinion.

Establishing a Foundation

In order to ensure that demonstrative evidence is accepted by the court and shown to the jury, plaintiffs should:

  • Plan early;
  • Establish a proper foundation; and
  • Prepare and submit a trial brief to the court.

A foundation is established by testimony or other evidence that demonstrates that the visual aid is an accurate and fair representation of the evidence. This requires the witness to offer testimony as to the accuracy of the demonstrative evidence before the visual aids can be shown to the jury.

Once these steps have been taken, a plaintiff has a better chance of being able to use demonstrative evidence to illustrate certain injuries, establish causation (fault), or reconstruct the incident.

One of the most effective opportunities to use demonstrative evidence is the opening statement. While the California Civil Jury Instructions make clear that opening statements are not to be considered evidence by juries, these moments are still crucial in preparing juries for the evidence that will eventually be presented. For this reason, judges often exercise their discretion by allowing plaintiffs to present charts, diagrams, and other visual aids during opening statements.

Remember, how and when evidence is presented at trial can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis Personal Injury Attorney. If you or someone dear to you has been hurt in an accident, give me a call promptly at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice.

I’ve been helping injured victims in Davis and their family members recover compensation for personal injuries and wrongful death for well over 30 years.

See a multitude of my customer reviews on these popular rating platforms: Yelp, Avvo and Google.

I am a Million Dollar Advocate. Members of this forum have garnered multiple million dollar case verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients.

See some of my Past Verdicts & Settlements.

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