Diagrams

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With the exception of witnesses and police accident reports, the most effective tool in presenting an accident case is a good diagram. Many good cases have been lost because the judge never properly visualized what happened, and several iffy cases won because plaintiffs made persuasive drawings. All courtrooms have blackboards, and it is an excellent idea to draw a diagram of what happened as part of your presentation. If you are nervous about your ability to do this, prepare your diagram in advance and bring it to court. Use crayons or magic markers and draw on a large piece of paper about three feet square. Do a good job with attention to detail. When it's your turn to speak, ask the judge for permission to display your drawing (this will be easy if you have attached it to a piece of cardboard or similar stiff surface).

For example, suppose you're involved in an intersection accident–you collide with another car coming from the right. You'd want to draw the intersecting streets, showing the lane separators and any stop signs or signals, and use arrows to indicate the lines of travel. Draw any obstructions, such as trees and other vehicles.

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