The Benefits of Using Timeline Graphics for a Medical Malpractice Case

The Benefits of Using Timeline Graphics for a Medical Malpractice Case

When it comes to medical malpractice, as you’re well aware, a single error can cause irreversible harm in an instant, or damage done may not be immediately apparent but instead become evident over time.

In either case, having visual depictions like medical animations created showing where a health care provider deviated from a certain standard of care can prove helpful when presenting a medical malpractice case to jurors at trial.

There are many inherent benefits of using timeline graphics for a medical malpractice case, and you should be aware of whether your client’s case goes to trial or whether you are successful in resolving it during the pre-litigation phase through negotiations with an insurance adjuster.

Let’s dive deep into how a timeline of what happened to your client may enhance your chances of securing a settlement on their behalf.

How Visual Timelines Are Best Utilized in Medical Negligence Cases

Timeline graphics are effective for the following purposes:

  • Conveying how a doctor failed to uphold their duty of care: A timeline graphic can show all the steps a physician took that did align with the same standard any other similarly trained doctor would have taken, like taking an extensive medical history when consulting with their patient, ordering imaging studies or blood tests, and recommending more conservative treatments like medications or minor outpatient procedures. That graphic can then show one instance in which they deviated from that norm, such as leaving a surgical tool in a patient, ultimately causing them harm.
  • Showing what your client’s health was like before and after the medical error occurred: You might use these courtroom graphics to show specific steps, including when your client began to experience certain symptoms, received a diagnosis, started taking a medication, or underwent a particular procedure, miscommunication occurred, they started experiencing an adverse reaction to a prescription drug or surgery, and how their health continued to decline across over time.
  • Make certain key dates stand out or be more memorable: It can be helpful to establish a time frame for when your client last felt well, how quickly they started undergoing treatment after receiving their diagnosis, and how soon thereafter the unexpected outcome began. Having a timeline showing these critical dates can be impactful whether you send a demand letter to an insurer in hopes of reaching an out-of-court settlement with them or you present your client’s case at trial, as it can show just how quickly the medical malpractice set in and how long they’ve had to live with the harm their health care provider caused.

Why Are Visual Representations of Dates Impactful?

As we’ve discussed in our other blog posts, many individuals are visual learners, and it’s easier for them to retain information when it’s presented in a clear, visually engaging way.

The U.S. Army Reserve believes so much in the value of trail visuals that they devoted an entire chapter in their legal training manual to the topic. These courtroom graphics aren’t just appropriate for criminal matters, as discussed in that manual, though.

A timeline is particularly effective in personal injury cases like medical malpractice ones, where it’s essential to show causation. As stated above, this chronology makes it easier for insurers and jurors alike to better conceptualize how long your client has been made to “live” with the preventable harm they suffered.

When Is It Best To Present a Chronological Timeline of What Happened at Trial?

Presenting trial visuals like timelines during open and closing statements whenever they naturally fit into your narrative is ideal.

After all, an opening statement serves as the jurors’ initial exposure to your client’s case. It’s important to make a solid, impactful first impression. The same goes for the closing statement. The goal here is to recap what you’ve presented earlier in the trial and to reiterate any points you want to resonate with them most back in the deliberation room.

Timeline graphics can help you in those respects.

Also, timelines work well when they accompany expert witness testimony about complex topics, such as how a worsening of your client’s condition unfolded or explaining where an error occurred and liability for it.

Medical Graphics That Our Illustrators and Animators Can Create

Here at Advocacy Digital Media, our illustration and animation professionals have extensive experience producing interactive exhibits that bring medical concepts to life.

We work with you to identify what it is that you believe will have the strongest impact on insurance adjusters and jurors and depict or capture that information in factually accurate graphics.

Let’s discuss what you want to convey in your client’s case and how our team can best help you do that.

Email or call us as soon as possible so that, if you do decide to work with our team, we have time to synthesize and incorporate all the details you feel are important to achieve a successful outcome in your client’s case.