Demonstrative Evidence in a Motorcycle Accident

by Andrew Mounier on November 17, 2013

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motorcycle accidentA motorcycle accident can occur quickly without much advance warning with devastating results.   Whether the accident involved a motorcycle and another motorcycle, a car, truck or pedestrian, the seconds leading up to the accident are often hard to recall by the people involved it the accident.  Even when the parties feel they clearly recall what happen, their stories often conflict.  In a personal injury lawsuit that results from a motorcycle accident, the testimony of the litigants as well as other witnesses is critical.  Thus, it is important that such testimony is delivered to the judge or jury in a manner that allows them to get a clear idea of what occurred from the perspective of each witness.  An important way to make sure witness testimony is clear is to couple witness testimony with demonstrative evidence.  A Bloomington motorcycle accident lawyer stresses how important it is to use demonstrative evidence as part of the overall strategy in motorcycle accident cases.

Demonstrative evidence is often used in motorcycle accident cases.  It illustrates the testimony provided by a witness.  Such evidence may be a diagram of an intersection, photos of  the vehicles, or animation of the accident.  The more complex a case, the more demonstrative evidence is important to simplify the issues and allow the judge or jury to understand the facts.

Photographic Demonstrative Evidence

Photographs of an accident scene are always important.  Those involved in an accident should always take several photos of the vehicles from multiple angles.  They should also take pictures of other relevant aspects of the scene such as the road.  Photos of the road can corroborate testimony about road conditions.  For example, photographs of a road that has potholes or is in some other way in disrepair could be important in showing that an accident may have been caused by road conditions and not due to another vehicle.

In addition, photos allow people such as attorneys, juries, judges, and insurance claims adjusters  who were not eyewitness to the scene of the accident to see detail of the scene.  This will help them to draw conclusions as to what actually happened.

Litigants should take care in deciding which photos to present as evidence.  Photos that are presented merely to illicit sympathy from the jury and have little relationship to the testimony of the witness will be inadmissible.

Diagrammatic Demonstrative Evidence

Verbally describing an intersection and the details as to where the motorcycle and other vehicles were when an accident occurred can be quite confusing.   This is particularly true in cases where the intersection is busy and there are multiple lanes on each side of the road.  A diagram drawn to scale will enhance the understanding of verbal evidence.  However, in order to be admissible a diagram does not have to be drawn to scale. I just cannot be so distorted and inaccurate that it is confusing or misleading.

Animation Demonstrative Evidence

Today’s technology allows  the creation of highly accurate animations of accidents.  An animation adds life to a 2-dimensional illustration by making it 3-dimensional and adding movement.  A witness may testify that the driver of a car cut him or her off, causing the motorcycle to hit the car and the victim to be thrown from the motorcycle.  Showing the jury animation of this series of events will have a greater impact than if the jury just heard the victim describe the events.

Technology makes it easy to create demonstrative evidence.  However, it also makes it easy to create deceptive demonstrative evidence.  For example, photos can be easily altered by using programs such as Photoshop.  What safeguards can be taken to make sure that demonstrative evidence is not intentionally misleading?

Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier is a Content Engineer and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid legal blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier

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