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Important Aspects of Using Visual Graphics when an Expert Witness Testifies

Expert witnesses are used for a variety of reasons, but they are usually part of a claim or case that needs expertise in a specific field of study or subject where their experience and knowledge aid in determining how to proceed in a case. When they initially join the proceedings, they start with compiling data and processing methods to discover what occurred during an incident.

Then, a report is drafted with diagrams, charts, opinions and a conclusion that explains why they believe certain elements caused the issue. Along with these explanations, some experts use visual graphics through a computer interface or with large paper to assist the judge or jury in seeing with their eyes. Some media may be through pictures or video on a television.

The reason visual graphics are utilized by some experts is to show those that learn visually how something occurred, why a certain aspect correlates to another and how evidence suggests patterns that may be determined through other methods of compiling data or reconstructing the incident. Because so many are unable to truly understand something without seeing it, visual graphics of the scene or methods that show the connection between responsible party and the issue are invaluable. For some
experts, visual graphics are necessary to show how data sheets, databases, online information and similar items connect one piece of evidence to another. When the case is complicated, the professional hired for the case is able to explain this so a more educated decision may be made.

The Expert’s Job of Teaching

The most important aspect of the expert witness’ job is to ensure the jurors or judge understand what is relevant to the case. This means that evidence must be explained, and the connection of these items to the responsible party must be detailed. Technical and complicated matters must be translated into issues that the juror members and judge are capable of comprehending. When the evidence items contain complex datasheets or a great amount of numbers and letters such as with computer code, the expert’s job of teaching becomes crucial so deliberation may occur with an informed person determining the plaintiff’s case. The outcome may weigh heavily on the professional’s ability to teach the information and ensure it is understandable for the average person not versed in the field.

The ability to show what the expert is explaining is vital in translating the complicated information into something visual and appealing. This means the jurors and judge are captivated by the visual display and may become more informed about the connections and details of the evidence as it is adapted through the use of visual graphics. While many of these visuals may contain photos and diagrams, some video is helpful in comprehending certain aspects of a case such as a timeline or a sequence of events. This may also be used to understand the reconstruction of the incident through the expert’s processes.

The Expert Witness Testimony

When the expert witness is hired to assist with a case, he or she creates a report of the incident and, in many instances, he or she may reconstruct the issue to better understand it. When applying visual graphics through software or other media, this assists in a clearer comprehension of what occurred during the problem. If this was an accident, software and visuals may provide a means of reversing through the location from the accident back to the primary cause based on evidence. A professional versed in technology may be better at discovering the true responsible party. When the issue is with uncovering who is responsible for injuries, visual graphics may display what is thought so a picture or video may be observed.

Medical malpractice and healthcare cases have seen breakthroughs not found for many years with the assistance of visual graphics programs and media. With two or three-dimensional representations of the injuries and evidence to back up the methods used to treat the problem, the expert may be able to ascertain that the doctor or physician was not treating the patient properly. Other situations may show how the procedure was the cause of the additional damage, or with video assistance, it could be viewed that the healthcare professional was tired or unfocused when working. It is then that the expert witness is able to assist the lawyer in determining the liable party. This then assists the injured person in increasing the possibility of a positive outcome exponentially.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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