Typically presented by the defendant in a personal injury or wrongful death case, a Video Settlement documentary can be a short, concise overview of the case and demonstrate the day to day struggles victims have to live with. Note that most of a wrongful death video settlement documentary would stress continued daily living issues for the victim and their extended family, while a personal injury settlement brochure will focus on only the immediate effects of the death has had upon the surviving family. Both types of presentations should aim to make the court-martial panel look at the facts in an unbiased and objective manner. These are usually made within one month of the filing of the lawsuit.
While both are effective, a video presentation can sometimes have more impact due to its accessibility to the court. For example, many defendants and plaintiffs prefer that the entire case be handled through legal documents and scheduling. However, this is often inconvenient for defendants since they have limited time available to prepare a well-prepared Settlement Documentary. Moreover, plaintiffs may find it more beneficial to meet with their attorneys face-to-face. As a result, mediation is often used to get both sides to agree on a settlement quickly.
A settlement documentary is different from a deposition. Although both involve a meeting with an attorney, the purpose of a settlement documentary is to serve as more of a complement to legal proceedings. This type of educational training is intended to provide lawyers and other courtroom professionals with information regarding settlements, as well as how to present cases in such a way that they benefit the plaintiff. Note that a life video is usually only one-time, and is not meant to be a permanent record of personal injury or wrongful death cases. It is intended to educate courtroom professionals and the jury about the realities of personal injury litigation. It is also useful for allowing injured parties to gather important evidence that will be needed in the case.
In addition to providing courtroom assistance, a settlement video may be used in accident or injury court, to provide evidence during trial. An accident or injury court proceeding generally does not include any footage from an ambulance or fire truck. Because these vehicles can be difficult to navigate and video can be difficult to obtain, using a settlement documentary can be helpful. A short recording of the ambulance arriving at the accident site can show how timely the emergency call was made, as well as the damage or destruction that has been caused.
Many court reporting companies are now producing settlement documentaries to be used by attorneys, plaintiff attorneys, and the general public. In the production process, attorneys and plaintiff attorneys review all of the videos and take notes to use in court. The purpose of this process is not to air an ugly side of personal injury litigation. Rather, it is intended to show how helpful it can be to the parties involved.
After the production process is complete, the production company returns to the office of the videographer and uploads the video to their servers. From the server, the video is then stored onto the hard drive, flash drive, or DVD for uploading to different websites. Once uploaded, the video is then used by the opposing counsel. Most of the time, opposing counsel will review the video before making any decision as to whether to file a lawsuit.
It is possible for an individual to get the courts to order a settlement documentary even after the trial is concluded. If there was no jury trial and no settlement, courts are typically open to the idea of allowing the parties to submit one or more of these videos to the court, in hopes that the court may be convinced that the life lessons that can be gained from watching the video would benefit the plaintiffs. For instance, if an individual were to lose their job and need to repair their credit after being in the hospital for several days, viewing a settlement documentary about their good work ethic could help to guide them to keeping their job and getting on with their life.
If you are involved in litigation that involves a trial or claim adjuster, you should definitely contact a professional law firm that specializes in these types of cases. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to review the video and determine if it should not be submitted to the court. It is important to note that if you do not have a lawyer, the adjuster may not be willing to spend the time to review your video. A videographer will usually make these types of requests to the adjuster or their client in writing and include a signature of acknowledgment that states the company is requesting that the video be submitted to the court.