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The Power of Images: Documenting Medical Procedures in Injury Cases

It is a common saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  This saying is all the more true when trying to convey to a jury the pain and difficulty posed by various medical procedures.  Taking it a step further, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then video footage is worth an entire book.

Some people are “visual learners” meaning that they retain information best when they can view it.  For these people, a verbal explanation of injuries and medical procedures will have very little effect.  Other people learn by hearing information presented to them verbally.  Almost all people, however, learn most effectively when exposed to both verbal and visual information.

As Jacksonville injury lawyers, we have represented a multitude of clients who require pain management procedures.  Usually these cases involve injuries to the cervical or lumbar spine.  The pain management procedures include: epidural steroidal injections into the spine; nerve blocks; facet joint injections; and radiofrequency ablations.

If these procedures were described to you, they would certainly sound unpleasant; however, if I show you video footage of an epidural or radiofrequency ablation, you would probably cringe and wince.  In short, video footage of an invasive procedure makes a viewer feel something, whereas a description simply does not.

Florida has a prohibition on “golden rule” arguments at trial.  This means that a personal injury attorney cannot ask jurors to consider how  they would feel if they hand to endure the pain and medical procedures at issue.  Showing a video; however, is allowed, and the viewers cannot help but get a feeling of what it is like to endure these invasive procedures.

Because of this, when we have cases headed for trial, we make sure to have these types of procedures videotaped.  This, of course, takes coordination with the client’s pain management doctor and a videographer experienced in capturing the procedure without interfering with the doctor.  Finally, the video footage is shown at trial with the pain management doctor on the stand narrating the jury through the procedure steps.

Furthermore, using video footage of pain management procedures also helps to validate a person is genuinely suffering from severe pain.  These procedures are not simple and painless.  For example, an epidural steroid injection is inserted into the spinal canal and causes pain during and after the procedure, not to mention the serious side effects.  Is is hard to imagine someone would volunteer for such an invasive procedure if he or she was not in serious pain.

If you are in need of an injury lawyer in the Jacksonville area, we are happy to answer any questions about how we can demonstrate the full extent of your injuries to a jury, judge and mediator.

Our Jacksonville injury lawyers have been in practice for decades and have learned the nuances of how to best convey to strangers that a client’s injury is real and painful.  Our lawyers used to represent insurance companies which provides them with an understanding of what helps to convince an insurer to make a fair offer to settle an injury claim.  We handle injury cases throughout northeast Florida including: Jacksonville; Orange Park; St. Augustine; Yulee; Fernandina Beach; Callahan; Ponte Vedra Beach; Middleburg; Hilliard; Flagler Palm Coast; Gainesville; Starke; Macclenny; Keystone Heights; Lake City; Lake Butler; Green Cove Springs; and Palatka.  If we accept your injury case, you pay us nothing unless we win.