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How Can Demonstrative Evidence Be Used to Explain a Personal Injury

In representing clients I am charged with making their injuries understood by third parties, whether it be opposing counsel, insurance companies, mediators, judges or juries. Although medical records and evaluations by physicians will be used to determine the client’s damages, the best representation of the client’s injuries to a third party is often demonstrative evidence– pictures. And as the old saying goes, “pictures are worth a thousand words.”

Pictures give real meaning and understanding to the injuries suffered by a client. Visual evidence can be in the form of poster boards with enlarged images of the client’s x-rays. Alternatively, there can be diagrams explaining a surgical procedure in a step-by-step manner. These images will demonstrate the injuries in a more concrete form.

Having clear visual representations of the injury suffered by a client can lay certain arguments concerning damages to rest. For example, I recently had a situation involving a client who had a fractured wrist and the issue of damages was raised by defense counsel at the client’s mediation. I cannot minimize the importance of the parties’ seeing the hardware in the client’s wrist. The extensive surgical procedure could finally be appreciated as could the pain and suffering.

Such medical illustrations can be done by the attorney in his/her office. However, where appropriate, they can be done by professional medical illustrators. Obviously, any attorney should be sensitive to the cost-benefit analysis and adjust the kind of demonstrative evidence to accord with the value of the case. I hardly ever recall a client complaining about the expense that was undertaken. There is a reason for that and it is that the demonstrative evidence lived up to its promise and made those injuries, and all that the client endured, real and meaningful.

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