Medical legal illustrations can be used to simplify complex medical terms and concepts to present them to a jury in a way that is easier to understand. While it is possible to use boards and PowerPoint presentations to relay this information in simple text form, medical illustrations are more effective when anatomical accuracy is critical to a case. These illustrations can also be used to complement an expert witness’s testimony that may otherwise be difficult to follow without a visual aid. Illustrations can be created from medical records, diagnostic film, depositions of expert witnesses, expert opinions and medical reports.

How To Create An Effective Legal Illustration

One of the most important points to keep in mind when creating an effective medical legal illustration is that the point of these illustrations is to simplify complex medical data. Consider combining both text and pictures to convey complex ideas, but be careful that the text used does not overshadow or crowd the illustration, which should be the focal point.

Magnification can also be used to create effective medical illustrations. This can be done by magnifying a particular area to show a particular area of damage in the context of the location in the body. For example, if a person’s injury is located in the brain, presenting an illustration of the brain side by side with an enlarged illustration of the injury in the specific location within the brain, can aid in explaining the details of the injury.

Using color illustrations can be more effective than using black and white illustrations. Additionally, the images should be focused and sharp in order to be visually pleasing to the viewer.

Adhering To The Rules Of Evidence

Legal illustrations are demonstrative evidence and should be introduced in accordance with the rules governing other demonstrative evidence in a particular jurisdiction. There are various considerations that must be addressed in admitting demonstrative evidence, including the relevance of the evidence and whether the evidence will be more prejudicial than probative of the issues presented in the case.

Additionally, the information presented in a medical illustration must be authenticated by the expert whose testimony it supports, in order to be used in court. If the medical information presented in the illustration is case specific—that is, created specifically to illustrate the specific medical issues in the case—it may be more likely that the illustrations will be allowed to support expert testimony.

Hiring A Professional Court Illustrator

It is important to work with a professional court illustrator when preparing illustrations for trial. If you contact a professional medical illustrator early in your case preparation, you will be in a better position to create a concrete plan for trial that incorporates your illustrations. It is important to provide access to the medical information to be illustrated, as well as an overview of the key issues in the case before the illustrator can start working on the case. The sooner you hire a professional illustrator, the more time you can give yourself to make any necessary changes before approving a final exhibit for trial.

Contact AWR Professional Medical Illustration

For more information on how you can use effective medical legal illustrations to present your case in court, contact A. William Roberts, Jr. & Associates (AWR). In addition to a full suite of trial preparation services, we can provide expert surgical storyboards, medical diagrams, medical procedure illustrations, radiological film colorization to help you strengthen your argument in court.

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