Behind the Visuals: Unleashing the Impact of Surgical Animations in Litigation

The human brain can process an image in 13 milliseconds – which is why good stories show instead of tell, according to the NeuroLeadership Institute. Visuals help us process information faster — and they also keep us engaged. Evidence that our brains can more effectively process visuals is especially apparent in the case of medical events, which can be complex and even off-putting for the average person.

Whether in litigation or at a jury trial, attorneys often use visual stories or animations to engage jurors in medical negligence or personal injury cases. When created by a firm that specializes in litigation visuals, their compelling nature and incredible accuracy offer jurors and even the opposition a chance to visualize what happened in the situation at hand. While useful to achieve favorable settlements and verdicts, visuals are particularly valuable at maximizing those outcomes.

Surgical animations are based on detailed operative and radiology reports. While they may also include actual medical imaging or scans, they’re built from a step-by-step account of what took place on the operating table. The surgeons who performed the work communicate with the animators and attorneys during the creative process and often provide testimony at trial as subject matter experts. A certified medical illustrator also consults with the animation team, essentially providing translation services to ensure the medical information is correct.

While surgical animations illustrate exactly what victims experienced as a result of their injuries, they also provide an approachable understanding of what can oftentimes be difficult for the average person to comprehend. The average person does not understand medical jargon, so it’s important that surgical animations act as a translator from the operative report to the final product. With the help of certified medical illustrators, animators can create graphics that provide a comprehensive overview.

For example, a motorcycle victim in a personal injury case may be depicted in a visual with multiple facial fractures. Using details from the operative reports, designers can create an animation showing how ortho and maxillofacial surgeons rebuilt the victim’s jawbones. They can provide intricate details as to how many screws and plates were used to put the bones back together – even down to the size and length of the screws. This kind of detail is especially important in cases in which the Defense argues that a victim’s injuries aren’t actually very serious and therefore a settlement is not necessary.

These litigation visuals can be an unrelenting tool in the courtroom. They provide an accurate understanding of highly complex topics while emotionally engaging jurors, which can be the upper hand legal teams need to obtain favorable outcomes in mediations or at trial.

If you’d like to learn more about how a surgical animation can help improve the outcome of your client’s case, contact DK Global today.

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