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The Lesser Known Benefits of Forensic Animations

Most articles about forensic animations tend to talk about the persuasiveness and level of memory retention an animation can have on a jury. However, there are two other valuable benefits that are rarely talked about and in practice, are the most beneficial to an attorney.

Perhaps the two most advertised benefits of forensic animations are their persuasiveness and that they tend to have a greater retention in the memories of Jurors. These would seem like the strongest points that animations have to offer alone, but what any experienced forensic animator will tell you is that the "real" benefits of an animation come out well before the "play" button is ever pressed in a courtroom.

There are two main benefits of forensic animations that most people do not highlight often enough. They are perhaps the most important of all since they help to refine an attorney's entire case and often strengthen their position.

1. Getting it Right!
There is a large amount of effort and thought that goes into piecing together all the bits of evidence to make a strong, cohesive animation that agrees with the presented facts of a case. Often, there are a number of reports from police, accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses that need to be assembled so that the "facts" are cohesive and logical. Each report tends to highlight a different aspect of the evidence and there can be different, conflicting viewpoints as to what happened.

Well before the trial date, a forensic animator can provide a preview animation that clearly demonstrates where there are inconsistencies of the facts. This means that the expert witness may need to question and clarify some of the "facts" and assumptions of evidence that may not agree with one another. It is this ability to have a preview of a particular set of circumstances that often aids in the "search for truth" since there can be certain circumstances ruled out based on a particular set of facts.

As a result, it is not uncommon to find that an attorney will change their position on some (or all) points since it becomes clear that something did not happen the way it was originally anticipated. Of course, the opposite is also true where the animation strengthens the original position of the attorney.

There are also circumstances where errors and miscalculations are found after having viewed a forensic animation. This often saves the expert witness and attorney from an embarrassing situation during trial and provides a perspective to something closer to the "truth".

A forensic animation is a visual tool to check the available evidence and see if it is logical and in alignment with the attorney's arguments and theories.

2. What if scenarios?
A second benefit of forensic animations is that different scenarios can be considered since one can easily "experiment" with varying facts and assumptions. This is truly "going the extra mile" to take a look at what other things may have happened and eliminating the scenarios that could not have occurred. It is a question of preparedness that all too often gets overlooked due to any number of reasons.

Reviewing and analyzing a visual recreation means an effective and less time consuming way to understand the arguments from both sides of a case. This ability to have a "window" into the opposing side's position also means that one can better prepare specific questions and counter points for the opposing counsel and the derivatives of their arguments.

In the end, the process of going through and analyzing a forensic animation means an attorney is better prepared to face the different scenarios which may arise in court. The visual check that the animations provide along with the detailed analysis is where the true value comes out. The discussion that takes place between all parties and the clear visuals that are created, help to ensure accuracy and alignment with an attorney's case. Then, when presented in court, jurors are more likely to be persuaded by a case with clear arguments and strong counter arguments.

By AI2-3D Forensic Animations
Forensic Animations, Mapping, Photogrammetry, Virtual Models, Medical Animations Expert Witness
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eugene Liscio, P. Eng.
Eugene Liscio is the owner of AI2- 3D Animations which specializes in forensic animations for litigation support. AI2 is actively promotes the use of Forensic Animations, 3D Virtual Models and other visual strategies for the courtroom. Eugene Liscio is a registered engineer in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Copyright AI2-3D Forensic Animations

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.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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