Photos, Graphs & Charts

From the advent of the analog camera to wide spread use today of the digital camera, use of photography has long been the backbone of the trial lawyer in the courtroom. Sadly, it was not long ago that judges routinely prohibited the use of certain photographs at trial on grounds of prejudice. This is especially so where the photograph graphically captures a horrific injury sustained by a plaintiff. Fortunately, today this preclusive prejudice is encountered with less frequency.

Indeed, digital photography today is extremely assistive to the jury. As above, a picture is worth a thousand words. Where different parts of that picture can be “zoomed,” thanks to digital technology, matters not previously viewed with clarity can now be seen with ease.

Not surprisingly, most California Highway Patrol officers now carry digital cameras in their cruisers. Officers routinely and extensively photograph accident scenes. In fact, so thorough and helpful can digital photography actually be, that in a recent case the Scarlett Law Group was able, through experts utilizing digital photographs, to actually prove the impact of two big-rig trucks as they collided with one another and thereafter strike the vehicle in which the Scarlett Law Group’s client was a passenger.

What follows below are examples of different photographs utilized by the Scarlett Law Group at trial.

Aerial Photos

Aerial photos are a very important piece of evidence in any automobile accident or other personal injury case. We prepare for and go through trial telling our client’s story so the jury can truly understand what that client went through. As in any story, the setting is essential to gaining context and connecting with the characters involved. Use of aerial photography allows the jury to gain that context and connect with our client. Pictured below are just some examples of aerial photography recently used by the Scarlett Law Group.

Accident Photos

Whether personally involved or not, many people have had experience with devastating automobile accidents. The accident photos shown below are examples of demonstrative evidence used in almost every automobile case by the Scarlett Law Group. These photos, while shocking, are very powerful pieces of evidence to present to a jury. A jury can hear about the damage done to the respective vehicles in dollar amounts or the massive forces of acceleration and deceleration acting upon each vehicle, but there is perhaps no more powerful way to make the jury truly understand what our clients have been through than showing them visual images of the often times horrific damage that has resulted from a wreck. Please click on any of the images below to bring up a slideshow of various accident photos for each case.

Charts and Graphs

Charts and graphs are a clear, concise way to convey information to a jury. While charts and graphs can now easily be included in PowerPoint presentations and computer animations, physical charts and graphs have a very distinct advantage. After the use of a PowerPoint presentation, the screen goes blank and lights come back up. Any and all information contained in the PowerPoint presentation is no longer readily accessible to a jury until deliberations begin. Physical charts and graphs, mounted on an easel can remain in direct view of the jury through witness examinations, cross-examinations, closing arguments and rebuttal. This means that a jury will be looking at and thinking about the information we present throughout the entirety of the trial, rather than just a few minutes.

Blowups

While the Scarlett Law Group routinely uses computer enhanced graphics to explain damage done to complex brain structures, it is also helpful to have still images of the brain, blown up large enough in size, for the jury to repeatedly look at throughout the trial. For instance, where our client has suffered diffuse axonal shearing, we may utilize a blow up illustration of the brain which demonstrates both the brain structure and the process through which axonal shearing occurs. As was the case with charts and graphs, blow ups have the distinct advantage over computer enhanced animations, because they can remain in view of the jury for nearly the entirety of trial, ensuring the jury’s understanding.

Photo Logs

In addition to the use of select photos of the accident scene and aerial views, photo logs are also very helpful in telling our client’s story. Taken every few feet on a roadway, photo logs display the roadway in segments, putting the jury in the driver’s seat in the moments immediately preceding an often devastating collision.

The photo logs below, used by the Scarlett Law Group in a recent case, did exactly that. The jury was able to visualize the approach of the vehicles immediately prior to impact. These photo logs helped to establish that the State of California maintained a dangerous condition on public property, which lead to a substantial settlement prior to trial. The Scarlett Law Group went on to utilize these photo logs at trial against the remaining defendants and obtained one of the largest, non-punitive, single plaintiff verdicts in the history of Santa Clara County.

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