Let me tell you a story about the power of forensic animation services. One day while I was sitting at my desk reviewing surveillance video of a bus accident, enjoying a typical day in the life of a forensic animator – the phone rings, and it is a senior producer at TMZ. What you should know is that an hour earlier Courtroom Animation posted a video to YouTube showing an animated reconstruction of the Caitlyn Jenner car collision.
If you are not familiar with the case, Caitlyn Jenner rear-ended two cars, pushing one into oncoming traffic in a fatal car accident that took place in Malibu. Several others were injured in the pileup and the site was closed down for more than nine hours while investigators collected information and examined the crash scene.
Our CEO, Brady Held, discusses the Jenner car crash and its viral 2015 animation in Episode 002 of Fireside Forensics (2022).
Fast-forward 24 hours and the Caitlyn Jenner visualization that we created had been viewed more than 650,000 times on YouTube, and over a million times through additional media hosts. I was interviewed by CBS, ABC, The New York Daily News, USA Today and contacted by numerous news agencies across the globe – in Australia, UK, the Netherlands, etc. The Caitlyn Jenner reconstruction and animation that Courtroom Animation put together is now available on every major news network leading prime time news – it had gone viral.
What Does This Say About Forensic Animation Services?
The fact that the Caitlyn Jenner visualization that we created went viral sends a few very powerful messages about forensic animation. Visual media has the ability to quickly influence personal opinion, or to elicit an immediate response.
Courtroom Animation created the animation of the Caitlyn Jenner collision to highlight how efficiently our team works, even on the most complex cases. When we put this animation together, we consulted with multiple experts (forensic engineers and accident reconstruction specialists) to evaluate the vehicle damage, dynamics and rest positions. When it comes to accident reconstruction, 3D forensic animation is a very powerful tool.
Viewers who took the time to watch the video and observe the animation instantly and instinctively formed an opinion regarding the facts that are portrayed. This is important to note because jurors often say that expert and witness testimony from the plaintiff or the defense tends to be offsetting and does not directly affect the outcome of the case.
An important takeaway from the Caitlyn Jenner animation going viral is that the majority of people who viewed it and commented on the video are regular, everyday people. The millions of views do not come from legal experts, attorneys, forensic experts or people who are involved with the legal industry. The animation was sought out by people who wanted to know what really happened – laypeople, or potential jurors.
Forensic animation services in litigation play a very important role because it has a very strong effect on people, and it resonates more strongly with the audience than complex verbal testimony. For this reason, qualified forensic animators have a responsibility to rely on a strong, scientific foundation and represent the facts accurately. Additionally, animation can be shocking and elicit an emotional response from the jury because it gives them a firsthand view of what happened. This is important because this type of animation is engaging and it will ensure the jury is paying attention and that they will remember the information that is presented.
What was the impact?
Lastly, the impact the Caitlyn Jenner animation had shown how effective forensic animation is as a tool that is available to legal teams. Before the animation was released it was being reported (and widely accepted) as a simple rear-end, chain reaction type vehicle collision. There were photos of crushed vehicles, excited witness statements, possible sources of DVR video, and thousands of unresolved opinions as to what the cause of the collision was.
When we released the Courtroom Animation reconstruction and animation it consolidated all of the scattered facts into a single unit. It was a concise and intuitive first glimpse at the dynamics that would result in the appropriate vehicle rest positions and damage magnitude. This 3D animation contradicted virtually everything that was being reported, and subsequently went viral. Public opinion was formed so quickly and it spread so far that it forced the Police Department’s hand into releasing a statement verifying that Caitlyn Jenner did hit both vehicles in front of her.
There is no doubt that forensic animation is a powerful tool, and is quickly becoming more mainstream and in demand in courtrooms across the country. It clearly influences the opinions of everyday people by taking an enormous amount of technical data and making it more accessible, concise and visual.
Courtroom Animation has been helping legal teams of all sizes find success in the courtroom with a wide range of forensic animation services. Our expert team of animators and graphics specialists will produce high quality forensic animations for you that will add clarity to your presentation and boost juror attention, retention and comprehension. Our work has made a difference in numerous litigations and we have successfully achieved over $1 billion in favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients. We also boast a 99% admittance rate in more than 1,800 cases and we have worked with more than 500 leading law firms on a wide range of cases.
If you are curious to learn more about the work that we do, check out our results page to get a glimpse of some recent accident reconstruction projects that we have worked on. You can also follow us on social media to keep up with our work and get to know our team better. Please contact us if you have any questions about our team or the services that we offer – we look forward to hearing from you soon and working with you.
Original Forensic Animation with Updated 2022 Version: