When it comes to experience, many lawyers lack it in the area of knowing just how important visual evidence is throughout the legal process. This means they may lack the foresight to use what’s known as “demonstrative aids”.
Within this article we must first clearly define, what exactly, is a “demonstrative aid” and what it is not. To begin, we’ll provide the definition of “demonstrative” as follows:
“demonstrative evidence. n. actual objects, pictures, models and other devices which are supposedly intended to clarify the facts for the judge and jury: how an accident occurred, actual damages, medical problems, or methods used in committing an alleged crime.”
So we can now clearly understand that demonstrative aids or demonstrative evidence is simply a way for a lawyer and any called expert witnesses to clarify the facts of the case beyond a verbal explanation. Demonstrative aids and evidence should not be confused or compared to what television often wrongly portrays for entertainment purposes. “Exhibit A!”, a common misrepresentation of demonstrative aids and evidence in Hollywood, would be incorrect and is intended to glamorize the movies and television shows we watch for fun.
Visual proof, not evidence
Now that we’ve established “demonstrative aids” in the context defined by law, we are aware that they are not part of any evidence submitted to the jury during the course of a trial. Demonstrative aids are not items or evidence found at the scene of an accident. That’s because evidence, as defined by law is actually considered:
“every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs and depositions (testimony under oath taken before trial).”
These aids are created after the accident, when a lawyer accepts a case and begins his or her work on behalf of the client. These demonstrative aids are considered helpful tools to assist the lawyer in providing a more thorough explanation of their case. Usually, these aids are utilized during the trial visually, as representations of what the attorney is presenting verbally to the courtroom.
These tools are almost always incredibly helpful to a plaintiff’s case, as they allow the judge and jury to see more clearly, exactly what the victim of an accident is suffering from and leave little room for doubt in anyone’s mind that the victim has suffered. Accident recreation is a form of demonstrative aid as well. This tool is often used to present a clearer picture of exactly what occurred, and is provided along with expert testimony to best explain how an accident and its’ resulting injury occurred for those who were not present.
Demonstrative aids come in various forms:
- Video animation and accident recreation
The board certified difference
When it comes to preparing a successful, well-rounded case that fully supports the truth of an accident victim’s pain and suffering, demonstrative aids are one of, if not the most important aspect of preparing for trial. This is where a board certified lawyer can further prove he or she has the most experience to try a case on behalf of his or her client.
This is because a board certified lawyer will not simply rely on the ability to “argue” a case should it go to trial, that would be detrimental to the client and may not provide everything necessary to obtain what the client rightfully deserves. Instead of opting to do the bare minimum as many “paper pushers” are wont to do, a board certified lawyer will use every tool in their hard-earned legal “toolbox” to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for their client.
Demonstrative aids in action
Below, Sagi Shaked, Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and founder of the Shaked Law Firm explains the importance of demonstrative aids for further understanding of this legal tool: