Often times the terms “day-in-the-life” and “settlement documentary” are used interchangeably. Though both types of legal video are related, they should be viewed differently from one another.

Day-in-the-life video is used to illustrate the everyday struggles the plaintiff endures. Whether that be in the hospital, at therapy, or at home, we capture what it is like to live with the acquired life changing injuries and chronic pain. The video taken is court admissible and is usually admitted into evidence during testimony of a spouse or caregiver. Rather than hear per-recorded commentary during the presentation, it is narrated live from the witness stand during trial.

From a production standpoint we shoot two different types of day-in-the life footage.DITL_01

1.) Rooster to Owl– This encompasses the plaintiff’s entire schedule throughout the day. From sunrise to sunset, we are a fly on the wall capturing what your client goes through.

2.) Cliff Notes– During this shortened version we follow the plaintiff around for a few hours to capture a snippet of their typical day. Generally we would go to the client’s house when they wake up and capture their morning routine and the challenges they face in the first few hours of their day. Both versions of day-in-the-life can then be edited down to a more trial-friendly duration, hitting the highlights of your plaintiff’s struggles.

Settlement Documentaries on the other hand include some day-in-the-life footage but are an all-inclusive presentation for the purpose of resolving a claim, shown to the adjuster or claims committee either at mediation or prior to. Our goal when putting together one of these documentaries is to show the non-economic damages of a case by creating a meaningful connection between the viewer and the plaintiff. In order for the adjuster to understand the profound change in your client’s quality of life as a result of the defendant’s actions, it is important to highlight the contrast of your plaintiff’s life before and after the injury.

There are five components that make up a typical settlement documentary.

1.) Pre-injury condition– We establish the contrast in your client’s life with the use of family snapshots and home video.

2.) Liability– Showing why the defendant is responsible using crash photos, police report, deposition excerpts, eyewitness interDITL_02views and more.

3.) Day-in-the-life video– We take clips from the plaintiff’s daily routine, supplemented with voice over to explain the struggles they endure on a daily basis.

4.) Witness Interviews– Your client’s story is told by friends, family and co-workers in their own words.

5.) Medical Statement– A medical professional explains diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, permanency, and causation using visual aids.

All these elements are put together in a 15 to 20 minute video that will allow the viewer to get a glimpse into what life is like for your client.

Emily Gregory

Communications Director

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