There has been a seismic shift over the past two decades in how personal injury cases are tried in court. Increased use of technology has shortened our attention spans and social media has changed the way we process information. Simply put, people put their trust in what they see and rely on quickly digestible bites of data — the same goes for juries.
As TikTok and Twitter shape our society, lawyers have had to rethink their trial strategies and how they present their cases. Where eloquent orations were once the way to persuade a jury, the goal today is to get the point across as quickly and effectively as possible. Rather than illustrate the facts of a case with a lengthy summation, attorneys now turn to substantive and demonstrative visual evidence whenever possible.
Jurors Want to See It to Believe It
Visual evidence has become a powerful tool in personal injury cases across New York State. Attorneys rely on it more than ever to benefit their clients and maximize compensation. Immersed in a culture dominated by YouTube and Instagram, jurors want to see things with their own eyes. In fact, since many jurors have preconceived notions of what a trial is like from what they’ve seen on TV, they generally expect that visual evidence will be presented in court.
Visual Evidence Keeps a Jury Engaged
When an attorney tries a personal injury case, it’s critical to keep the jurors engaged. One way of doing this is by presenting the information in multiple ways. This is another reason why visuals, combined with expert testimony, can be so effective in persuading juries. Research suggests that people only remember about 20% of what they hear, but they retain 50% or more of the information they both see and hear.
Personal injury cases often present the challenge of demonstrating the complexities of liability to a jury in a way they can easily understand and comprehend. PowerPoint presentations, videos, enlarged photos using digital projectors, and other forms of media have all shown to be useful tools in keeping jurors focused — not to mention that they can help amplify an argument. In some cases, computer animations may also be admissible to help an expert witness illustrate their opinion.
Using Visual Evidence to Secure Substantial Compensation
We recently represented a young couple who were in a motorcycle accident with a dump truck. Both plaintiffs were riding on the same motorcycle when they were sideswiped by the truck, causing them to suffer life-altering and catastrophic injuries. Although the defense claimed that our client cut in front of the truck on the motorcycle, we were able to quickly debunk the theory of their case with the use of visual evidence.
At the time of the accident, our client was wearing a textured motorcycle jacket. Using two large LED screens, a digital projector, a computer, and an overhead projector, we enlarged an image of the pattern on the driver’s jacket. We matched the photo to another taken by the local police in which the same pattern was etched into the dirt on the side of the truck.
Rather than rely on verbal explanations and testimony, we created a visual presentation that helped the jurors understand the facts surrounding the accident. Our effective use of visual evidence meant game-over for the defense.
The jury found the dump truck was 100% at fault, and we secured an award for our clients well into the seven figures.
Bottom line: Knowing how to present visual evidence in a concise and compelling manner can make all the difference in the outcome of a personal injury case.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
How your personal injury case is presented to a jury can significantly impact the amount of compensation you recover. If you suffered injuries in an accident due to the negligence of another, it’s critical to hire an attorney who has the resources, know-how, and capability to present the facts of your case in the most powerful manner possible. With our insight into the effective use of visual evidence, we regularly secure millions in compensation for our clients who have sustained severe injuries.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP have extensive experience fighting for the rights of injured workers to ensure they get the maximum compensation they deserve. Located in Manhattan, we have been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.