Day in the Life Video

Day in the Life Video, DITL Video ProducerThe purpose of Day in the Life video (DITL also known as ADA video) is to maximize recovery potential for the injured client. DITL video is damage video. The production is most effective when it introduces the victim to the audience; reveals the human dimension of the injury; focuses on the damages; shows the injured client’s life-altering functionality; expresses a sense of need and a sense of hope.

DITL video is used in focus groups, mock trials, settlement conferences, mediation proceedings, trials and hearings. Any personal injury case may require or benefit from DITL video: auto accidents (demonstrate that the client meets or exceeds the injury threshold); work related injuries, product liability; premises liability; medical negligence and toxic torts.

Depending upon the kind of coverage, DITL video may last from 3 to 20 minutes. Comprehensive coverage, which may also comprise interviews, demonstrations, deposition, testimony, documentation, records, photographs, home video and clinical examinations, can run from 12 – 30 minutes. Focused DITL which is unvarnished coverage edited for the potential of objection – usually depicting the injured client in his/her environment – runs for 7 – 10 minutes. Issue-Targeted DITL which focuses on a specific question in a damage case runs from 3 – 6 minutes.

If the intended audience is a courtroom presentation before a judge or jury the video must demonstrate probative value. It must be non-prejudicial, focusing on the facts alone in a true and accurate accountability and does not send out a plea for sympathy.

It is essential when producing any forensic documentary that the audience for the final product be known before production begins. This will affect the content and editing. The audience can be a jury, a judge, insurance adjusters, the Defense, trial consultants, experts, office personnel, the Guardian or Attorney Ad Litem, and the caregiver. DITL video can be incorporated into a Settlement Brochure that is not seen by the court. Settlement video is distinct from DITL video in that it is advocacy video which is unrestrained by the rules of evidence and caveats on prejudice imposed by the court. Settlement video is designed to bring out emotion and sympathy from the audience and is primarily used in settlement meetings.

For DITL video attorneys want high quality damages: evidence of strong probative value that meets the threshold of admissibility in court. Attorneys want similar quality in witnesses presented in the video. Attorneys want the jury to understand how gravely the injured client’s life has been altered and they want the jury to make a human connection with the injured client and to perceive the injured client’s sense of loss and also his/her sense of hope. In many cases it will be the jury that decides how much money will help the injured client. You definitely do not want to portray a cynical client who acts out of a sense of hopelessness.

Demonstrated damages might go beyond compensatory damages: associated injury is fair game in a DITL video and most especially for settlement brochures. The experts who appear in the video can further extrapolate on the scope of damages and testify to the injured client’s potential care needs.

Insurance Adjusters look at the same elements that concern attorneys: the quality of damages, the quality of witnesses, how the jury will feel about the injured client and the associated injury and types of damage. The more effectively these elements are addressed in the video the greater it contributes to recovery potential.

The jury will also look at the quality of the damages. They need to decide how much money is necessary for the injured client’s maintenance and recovery and whether the award will make a difference. The jury is concerned about the credibility of the information and witnesses they received and how responsible and dedicated the caretaker would be with the money they award.

There are three things that concern the judge and the Court of Appeals: Were the rules of evidence properly applied? Did the evidence have probative value that did not unduly prejudice the jury against the plaintiff or the defense? Is the damage award fair?

In this article I have discussed the purpose of Day In The Life (DITL) or Activities of Daily Living (ADL) video, what it must address and who its audience is and what they are looking for. I have also distinguished it from Settlement Video in this discussion. Forthcoming in this series I will discuss the actual video production.

CLVS LLC provides professional video production services with a comprehensive knowledge on how to produce DITL video and Settlement Brochures that maximize recovery potential for the client.

Certified Legal Video Services, CLVS LLC, is a video production company located in Fair Lawn, NJ, 07410. Our videographers service the entire metro New York City and New York, New Jersey, tri-state area and clients nation-wide. For more information call our lead videographer Howard Brodsky at (201) 280-8614. E-Mail: certifiedlvs@me.com.Visit our website at http://www.clvsllc.com.

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