1997-02-24

Computer Images and Animations in Court 970965

Computer imaging and animation can be extremely useful in analyzing vehicle accidents and illustrating the results. However the admissibility of computer images and animations in court is a concern. It is within the trial judge's discretion to decide whether a computer animation may be shown. Courts have accepted them in some cases and have rejected them in others. Aside from the legal issues, courts need to be sure that the images and motions are accurate and are based on recognized principles. Juries need to know these same things. This paper discusses the requirements which should be met to make computer images acceptable in a court of law and discusses methods for presenting an adequate foundation in court and the necessary explanations to a jury. The paper presents a systematic approach to laying the foundation for a court of law based on the author's own experience which employs the use of still images, photos, and diagrams. Case references are provided.

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