At trial time, Defendants may make a motion before the Court to exclude gruesome photographs of injuries. However, simply because the photograph(s) may be gruesome and possibly cause prejudice in the minds of the jury is no reason to exclude the photograph(s). See e.g. Burnett v. Caho, 7 Ill.App.3d 266, 272 (3rd Dist. 1972). Admissibility is within the discretion of the trial judge and it is common practice to display personal injuries to the jury “even though there is no controversy as to the existence, nature and extent thereof.” See id. For example, it has even been held to include the right to show an injured eyeball that has been removed and it is not error to permit the plaintiff to display his injuries to the jury and to testify briefly while so doing. See id.
Generally speaking, such exhibits are admissible if the probative value of the exhibits is not outweighed by their inflammatory effect. See Drews v. Gobel Freight Lines, Inc., 144 Ill.2d 84, 99 (Ill. 1991). In Drews, the plaintiff introduced photographs of a decedent taken at a morgue to support Plaintiff’s claim for decedent’s pain and suffering. One of the photographs even showed multiple lacerations to the decedent’s face and throat, and the other photograph showed a gaping wound and burns to a knee. Similar to the Burnett case, the Illinois Supreme Court in Drews held that in spite of the fact that a photo may be gruesome or inflammatory, the trial judge may admit it for the probative value in assisting the jury’s determination of the extent of pain and suffering. See id.