How Demonstrative Exhibits Complement Witness Testimony
It’s a well-known fact that evidence is essential in proving the validity of a claim. Without tangible evidence, your case may fall flat, no matter how compelling and sincere your testimony may be.
Since the average person is likely to remember more of what they see rather than what they hear, demonstrative evidence can be a powerful tool in civil and criminal trials. While real evidence refers to tangible materials, like DNA, fingerprints, written documents, or witness testimony, demonstrative evidence is evidence used to clarify or explain one’s case with visual presentation.
Examples of demonstrative evidence include:
- Video animation
- expert testimony
Demonstrative evidence can be a powerful way to enhance your case by helping others see and understand what happened.
The Admissibility of Demonstrative Evidence
All demonstrative evidence must be compliant with the Federal Rules of Evidence if the proceeding is held in federal court and with the Georgia Evidence Code if the proceeding is held in a state court.
These rules ensure that evidence submitted in a trial court is accurate, relevant, and helpful in understanding the details of a case. It’s ultimately up to a judge to decide what evidence is permissible in the courtroom. For example, a judge may decide to exclude certain evidence if they determine it’s inaccurate, confusing, or misleading.
Why Is Visual Evidence Important in My Personal Injury Case?
Visual representation of evidence can help others understand the intricate details of your case. Not everything can be conveyed accurately with the use of words. If you have an expert testifying on your behalf, their testimony may be substantially strengthened with the use of a demonstrative exhibit.
For example, if your personal injury is the result of a car accident, demonstrative evidence can be presented in the form of accident reconstruction. An expert’s explanation of your accident may require using technical terms and talking about concepts unfamiliar to the average person. A visual reconstruction, like a drawing or illustration, may help the testimony make sense to someone who would be confused with just a verbal explanation.
Suppose a medical expert testifies to the severity of the injuries you sustained. In that case, they may want to use graphics or anatomical models to explain precisely what occurred and which areas in the body were affected. Your doctor may even “perform” a virtual examination of your body, which is both realistic and easier to use than clumsy anatomical replicas.
How to Gather and Preserve Evidence in a Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case is only as strong as your evidence. To make sure you present a compelling and factual case, your legal team must diligently gather and preserve relevant evidence to your claim.
Having the right evidence during negotiations with the insurance company may expedite your case and may even help you avoid court. It’s better to have too much evidence than too little.
Below are some tips to help you preserve evidence for your case.
Photographs can serve as robust demonstrative evidence. Make sure to document the scene of the accident and your personal injuries by taking pictures. These pictures don’t have to be professional. You can use your phone or whatever camera you have at hand.
You can also go back to the accident scene and take pictures of anything you think may be relevant if it’s still present. Law enforcement tends to get accidents cleaned up quickly, which is why you should try to get photographic evidence as soon as possible after the crash.
Write Things Down
Write down how the accident occurred. Do this as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more your memories will be prone to fade. Include all the details, even if they seem minute or unnecessary. Your written documentation of events will be a great starting point to describe the accident to your lawyer and build your case. If anyone witnessed your accident, ask them for written testimony or collect their contact information and give it to your attorney.
Keep Track of Medical Appointments and Bills
You may want to create a folder documenting all your injury-related medical appointments and bills. You can also keep a journal to record any other expenses associated with your injury, your pain levels, state of mind, etc. Keep in mind that these entries must be factual and concise, and the content must be related only to your accident injuries.
How Can an Attorney Help You Present Your Evidence?
Your lawyer can help you understand which evidence should be included in your case and help you manage the legal process. They’ll also have access to skilled investigators, as well as professionals who specialize in accident reconstruction and medical illustration.
Your attorney will be able to help you present your evidence in the best possible way. They may suggest using video animation, charts, diagrams, or even a 3D virtual reconstruction of the scene of the accident to help create a fair and accurate depiction of what happened and help the jury understand relevant facts that may be missed if only verbal explanations are given.
When preparing for a trial, your lawyer will go through the accepted evidence standards and determine what should and shouldn’t be used in court. They’ll also help you connect physical evidence to facts narrated in court by ensuring that every piece of evidence has been properly authenticated.
Whether it is accident reconstruction, medical illustrations, or simply photographs and videos of the scene, demonstrative evidence can be a powerful tool to help you convey your story and fight for justice. When done correctly, it can be the deciding factor in a court of law. Your lawyer can help you properly introduce demonstrative evidence to the jury and make sure that any questions about its accuracy or relevance are addressed promptly.
If you’re considering pursuing a personal injury claim following an accident, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you on the best way to present your evidence and fight for your rights.
Get Legal Help from an Injury Attorney in Atlanta
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident or by the negligent, careless actions of another person, and your life has been turned upside down as a result, you may be eligible for compensation.
The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at the Dressie Law Firm will carefully analyze your situation and build a robust, evidence-based case to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at 770-756-633 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.