How do medical visuals help my personal injury case?
There are a variety of reasons our clients retain us to prepare medical visuals for their personal injury and medical malpractice cases.
Fundamentally, medical visuals – illustrations, animations, interactive media, and physical models – are communication tools. At mediations, settlement meetings and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, visuals help your litigation team communicate complex technical details with ease. They ensure that defense, the mediator/arbitrator and insurance adjustors understand the severity of the injuries and any surgical interventions that were required. Thus, providing them with a solid understanding of the ongoing suffering, complications and functional limitations your client is, or will experience in the future.
The same premise holds true at trial – only it’s your medical expert who must communicate the facts with your audience being a judge or jury in the courtroom. Often, those experts appreciate having visuals to assist them in explaining their complex testimony.
By using medical visuals to help provide a clear and common understanding of the situation, our clients reduce the amount of time spent reaching settlement and are successfully able to push for higher awards. Your practice benefits by being able to expeditiously argue more files and your clients benefit by receiving more funds, sooner.
There are also a variety of strategic reasons for using medical-legal illustrations:
- You demonstrate your preparedness for the trial – a characteristic appreciated by a judge and jury.
- By providing clarity to the judge and jury, you are perceived as assisting the court, subtly encouraging the jury to help you in return.
- Visuals can break up long stretches of oral testimony, grabbing the attention of jurors and helping your arguments stand out.
- Posters used in a jury trial can often be brought into the deliberation room, acting as a large visual reminder of your client’s injuries and suffering.
- At pre-trial, mediations, dispute resolutions, and other settlement meetings, your willingness to invest in the case demonstrates a high level of commitment to the file and communicates you’re ready to take the case to trial if need be – giving you the upper hand in negotiations.
- As a busy personal injury lawyer with many open files, you are able to more readily learn and absorb the details of the case. Our visuals condense vast volumes of medical reports into a succinct format. Some of our clients order visuals well in advance of any action dates and don’t trouble themselves with learning the medical details until our visuals are in hand as they know how efficient this process will be when utilizing our demonstrative evidence.
There are numerous reasons to make use of medical visuals for your personal injury and medical malpractice cases – regardless of your primary motivation in ordering medical-visuals, they act as a valuable tool and represent an investment that will pay off in the end for both you and your clients.
What if I don’t know what visuals I need?
In general, our clients come to us knowing only that they have complex medical issues that they’ll need assistance communicating. We’ll do a full review and analysis of the case and, based on our many years of experience, will recommend visuals we believe will be the most impactful and clear in communicating the complex technical issues of your file.
What is the process for ordering visuals?
We suggest that first time users of our services start by giving us a call. We’ll discuss your case, timing details, and give you an idea of how we can help.
Next we’ll ask you to send us a copy of your medical brief [click here to download our Required Items list]. We’ll conduct a comprehensive analysis of the case and prepare a detailed proposal of our recommended visual solutions along with the associated fees. There’s no obligation to proceed, and until we work out an ongoing working dynamic with your office, there’s no cost for the analysis or proposal.
Once you approve the proposal, we’ll request any additional reports or films we may need and then begin creating your custom exhibits. If you’d like, we can work directly with your medical experts to ensure our visuals accurately depict their findings. Upon completion, we’ll provide you with electronic copies (JPEG format) of the visuals for inclusion in PowerPointTM and, for a small fee, we’ll also produce high-resolution handouts and/or poster-sized versions.
What items does Artery require to create illustrations?
We ask for a condensed medical brief to give us a complete picture of the medical situation. We typically don’t need the daily-care hospital/nursing notes. In particular we’ll rely on the operative notes, radiology reports, films and reports from your medical experts stating their prognosis. We also ask for photos of your client so that we may include their likeness in our visuals [click here to download our Required Items list].
What is the cost for visuals from Artery Studios?
Costs vary widely depending on the type of visual, complexity, and size of the case. Our fees can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars for a file. We invite you to contact us and we’ll give you a much better idea of the expenses involved within a few minutes of understanding your case. Itemized fees are always provided in our proposals so you never have to commit without a full understanding of the fees involved.
How long will it take to receive the visuals for my case?
We’re available to work on a rush basis and have successfully turned cases around in a matter of days. Normally however, we like to receive a case approximately two months prior to the desired delivery date. This allows us time to work the case into our schedule, and request and receive any outstanding radiological images or documents we may need. It also allows your office and our studio to interface with your medical experts and gather their feedback on the visuals we create.
Why do PI lawyers use medical visuals at mediation?
The vast majority of the work we do is in time for settlement negotiations (mediations, dispute resolutions, depositions and other meetings).
In settlement meetings visuals help you communicate complex medical details with ease. They ensure that defense and all parties involved understand the severity of the injuries and the surgical interventions required (past, present and future). Medical visuals provide a solid context to understand of the ongoing suffering, complications and functional limitations your client is experiencing both now and in the future. Our visuals can substantially reduce the amount of time needed to reach a settlement, and provide you with the leverage to push for higher awards.
Does anyone at Artery Studios testify if my case goes to trial?
In the vast majority of cases your medical experts will take the stand, using our visuals to assist in delivering their testimony.
The visuals we create are classified as demonstrative evidence (terminology may differ in your state/province). We do not add or embellish details or offer our own opinions about the medical information of the case. Our job is to determine how to best demonstrate your case and prepare the visuals to help your medical experts explain their findings at trial.
We strongly recommend you obtain a letter from your experts in advance of trial confirming the fairness of representation and accuracy of our visuals. We’d be happy to work directly with them in this regard.
In rare cases, the validity of the illustrations themselves may be called into question. In such cases, Stephen Mader, company President and Certified Medical Illustrator, will testify about the production process and how we came to depict details as we did. This happens only rarely.
How does Artery ensure admissibility in the courtroom?
There are numerous steps we take to ensure your investment in visuals pays off in the courtroom.
Of utmost importance is the care we take to provide you with highly accurate visuals. We’re able to support every element depicted in our visuals with the case medical reports and/or well-established references in medical texts and journals.
We do not invent, embellish, or otherwise introduce any facts to the case that can’t be found in your client’s medical reports. If requested, we can produce a report that explicitly outlines all our references and the production process followed.
We work directly with your medical experts to ensure that our visuals accurately depict their findings. If something isn’t as it should be, we’ll revise accordingly until they are satisfied.
Our visuals are designed to educate, not shock the viewer. This approach ensures our visuals remain effective, impactful communication tools while minimizing the risk of being deemed prejudicial.
Because of the steps outlined above, our visuals are generally admitted without objection, however, if necessary, we are prepared to go to court and testify in support of our visuals.
Why should I choose Artery Studios to create my case visuals?
Founded in 1992, Artery Studios is truly a pioneer in the medical-legal visual industry. We’ve been a key player in building the industry and have inspired others to follow in our footsteps.
Each member of our expert team of medical illustrators and animators has earned a master’s degree in biomedical visualization and holds an unwavering passion for precision.
We treat our clients with the utmost respect and go the extra mile to get the job done.
Simply put, we are the best at what we do.
Read more about The Artery Advantage.