DAY-IN-A-LIFE FILMS

In cases of serious and catastrophic injuries, professionally produced video evidence is increasingly being adduced.
The evidence was of great importance in three high value High Court decisions in 2015 in catastrophic injury claims:

E (a child) v Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 97 (QB) Mrs Justice Laing

A (a child) v University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 97 (QB) Mr Justice Warby

J v United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust [2015] 923 (QB) Mr Justice Foskett

Having reviewed those cases in his Introduction to the 20th Edition of Facts and Figures 2015/16, Robin de Wilde QC wrote,

“Such cases require meticulous preparation by everyone, from instructing solicitors, junior counsel…through to the experts…As an example, Warby J was clearly influenced by not only the witness statements, but the “day in a life” video, in addition to the other factual evidence. So was Foskett J in his case, as appears from his judgment.”

Such video evidence brings to life what would otherwise be confined to the written word or the still image. It is not only a crucial and probative item of evidence to adduce at any trial, it serves to inform and influence defendants and their insurers and lawyers.

How often is it that the true extent of a disability only emerges at a home visit? How difficult is it adequately to put into words the care needs of a seriously injured claimant or the limitations of their accommodation?

We have developed our approach to “day in a life” videos in close consultation with a senior barrister, experienced in catastrophic injury work. The video itself will be tailored towards the particular issues in the case and will be very easy to navigate, allowing either for viewing in full or by chapter (e.g. transfers, communication, accommodation, personal hygiene etc.). We can provide secure, password-protected online access to the videos, which can be made available to judges and all parties. We can also provide the footage on a USB stick or DVD.

Our aim is to provide the clearest objective evidence of a claimant’s disability and daily routine. We will use the highest quality digital cameras, lenses and sound recording equipment to capture the specific elements required. As explained in our profiles, our principal videographer and Managing Director, Justin Golby, has a particular insight into the lives of the victims of serious injury. His brother suffered a very severe traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident over 25 years ago. Justin has often provided physical and emotional support for his brother and is used to liaising with the many professionals involved. Justin is able to draw on his experiences and deal with victims and their families with both sensitivity and insight.

“I watched the “Day in the life of” DVD. It is very moving. [E] is a beautiful, engaging child. Her eyes shine. She is determined, and concentrates hard on any given activity… It is clear that she very much wants to be able to speak to other people. The physical difficulties she faces in articulating what she wants to say are formidable…”

(Mrs Justice Laing E (a child) v Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust -2015- WEHC 97 (QB))

“One striking feature of the way the medical and other expert evidence in this case has developed… is the impact on all the experts of viewing the video recordings… All have moved after viewing the “Day in the Life” video… My own viewing of the video evidence had a similar impact on me… Nobody has cast any doubt on the validity of that video evidence, which seems to me highly important to this aspect of the case.”

(Mr Justice Warby A (a child) v University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust -2015- EWHC 97 (QB))

“Such cases require meticulous preparation by everyone, from instructing solicitors, junior counsel…through to the experts…As an example, Warby J was clearly influenced by not only the witness statements, but the “day in a life” video, in addition to the other factual evidence. So was Foskett J in his case, as appears from his judgment.”

(Robin de Wilde QC Introduction to the 20th Edition of Facts and Figures 2015/16)