Dos and don’ts for creating a team of forensic experts for personal injury cases

Dos and don’ts for creating a team of forensic experts for personal injury cases

Today, more than ever, building a great team of experts is paramount to successfully obtaining a fair settlement. The old school mentality of going it alone  is no longer an adequate course of action due to the fast-paced nature and evolution of how personal injury cases are evaluated by insurance companies.

Attorneys working today must understand that expanding their reach and collaborating with other professionals will not only help them avoid roadblocks – but also streamline their case.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for building capacity through collaboration with forensic experts while building a solid case:

DO create a stellar team made up of  legal, medical, and rehabilitative experts. This helps to provide a well-rounded and solid approach when dealing with the complex injuries that your firm works with

DO develop this “A-team” of experts early in the legal process and work together to develop a clear timeline of needs and deliverables so that an informative and professional damages package can be submitted to the insurance company on time.

DON’T wait until the last minute or when disclosures are due to get your “A-team” working. By waiting, crucial medical/rehabilitative recommendations may not be assessed due to a collapsed timeline as your experts scramble to provide correct essential information pertaining to your client.

And lastly, DO ask questions! Experts, like us, are here to help. If you have a client whose case isn’t straightforward or you’re needing to provide more objective evidence of injury, please don’t hesitate to call.

If you’re interested in creating an “A-Team,”  we are here to provide the medical and rehabilitative guidance that will help you steer your team and case to success

At Injury Reporting Consultants, we specialize in providing expert reports such as functional capacity evaluations, vocational and earning capacity evaluations, medical cost projections, and life care plans that will support your legal documents in order to help obtain a swift and fair settlement.

How to WIN the hearts of a jury

How to WIN the hearts of a jury

I often have attorneys call and ask, “How do we help the jury fully understand the extent of our client’s injuries and how their impairments affect their life?”  My answer is always the same, “They won’t understand until there is a doctor on the stand that can translate medical terminology into layman’s terms, and how those terms have actually disabled their life.”

The complex linguistic nature of medical jargon has always been the “Achilles’ heel” of an injury case. When insurance companies and juries don’t understand the client’s medical records or the extent of an injury there can be a huge delta between the perception of the injury and how the injury has actually affected the client’s livelihood. Without a complete, understandable explanation of how the client’s impairments and disabilities affect their ability to perform vocational tasks, activities of daily living, and leisure activities, a case can easily become deadlocked. If this happens, any unnecessary stalls cause the client to suffer.

Our job at Injury Reporting Consultants is to provide understandable expert reports and to help educate attorneys, both plaintiff and defense, to understand medical jargon and break it down into simple terms that insurance adjusters and a jury can easily understand.

At Injury Reporting Consultants, we have 20 years of experience specializing in providing expert reports such as functional capacity evaluations, vocational and earning capacity evaluations, medical cost projections, and life care plans that will support your legal documents in order to help obtain a swift and fair settlement. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us at 720-982-2000 or at brad@injuryreportingconsultants.com. Please let us know in the message if it is an emergency.

When do you need a strong rebuttal report?

When do you need a strong rebuttal report?

In personal injury cases, one of the hardest things to prove to opposing counsel or the insurance company is how your client’s injuries affect their daily life – more specifically their ability to perform work-related tasks, activities of daily living, or leisure activities. 

Many times opposing counsel will have an Independent Medical Examination doctor evaluate your client only to produce a report stating that your client is perfectly fine and that they should have no problem whatsoever performing all of their life’s duties based on a 5-minute physical examination.

An examination of this length does not give the doctor any indication of how the client’s collision truly affects their livelihood and therefore gives the insurance company false data regarding the client’s status. 

At Injury Reporting Consultants, we specialize in combating such unfairly weighted reports that pigeonhole your client as a malingerer or a symptom magnifier. Our reports are designed to help both parties and the insurance company understand the client’s true impairments and disabilities from their collision and not just if they can touch their toes or raise their arms over their head.  If you would like support in developing a rebuttal report, our team is here for you. We can be reached at 720-982-2000 or at brad@injuryreportingconsultants.com.

What Every Attorney MUST Know About Constructing Cost Projections In-House

What Every Attorney MUST Know About Constructing Cost Projections In-House

When trying to settle a personal injury claim, the plaintiff attorney must provide a projection of reasonable future medical care and associated costs to the insurance company and defense. Many attorneys try to take the bull by the horns and complete this task within their law firm.

There can be several potential problems when an attorney attempts to complete these reports on their own. One of the biggest issues is when a patient may need specialized or more extensive treatment for their injury than an attorney is aware of. Without a proper understanding of medicine and rehabilitation, the reports may be lacking critical information that will leave a significant amount of money on the table. I like to look at it as, “what you don’t know can and will hurt your case.”

After having our certified life care planners, doctors, and legal nurse consultants review the client’s file, additional future treatments / procedures are often discovered which significantly change the future costs of care for the client. By working with our specialized medical reporting professionals, these two critical disciplines, law and medicine, work together to show the appropriate documentation needed to ensure a swift resolution of the claim at stake.

Another potential pitfall of trying to construct medical cost projections in-house is that many healthcare offices are reluctant to provide patient information to law offices. This can create massive friction when talking with the appropriate treating professionals about the future care recommendations of your client. By having doctors and other certified practitioners on our team, we are able to talk with these otherwise reluctant professionals on a different level and get the information needed to put together a solid medical cost projection.

Our job at IRC is to educate your firm about the future care / costs that your client will need regarding their personal injury. We do this by creating simple and easy to read reports that provide a high level of understanding between both plaintiff and defense to help get the claim settled in mediation. You can put your trust in Injury Reporting Consultants to help streamline your case and make your job easier.
I, Dr. Brad Poppie, have 20 years of personal injury experience not only as a treating doctor but as an expert witness in trial. If you have a client that may be a candidate for IRC services, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at: brad@injuryreportingconsultants.com 
Dr. Brad Poppie, DPT, CLCP, CFCE, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Life Care Planner
Medical Cost Projection Specialist
Certified Functional Capacity Evaluator
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
https://injuryreportingconsultants.com/
Know your client’s post-accident employability?

Know your client’s post-accident employability?

After clear liability is fully established in an injury case, the emphasis of the client’s ability to continue working or working at the same job and their ability to earn money should take precedence.

The questions the attorney must ask themselves when they need an Earning Capacity Evaluation are:

  1. How do the client’s injuries affect their ability to work?
  2. Will the client’s ability to earn income be affected secondary to impairments and disabilities sustained in the accident?
  3. Can the client work at all, or what job modifications will need to take place for them to stay employed and continue to earn income?
  4. How much do the jobs that the client can perform pay?

An Employability and Earning Capacity Evaluation consists of a Functional Capacity Evaluation to determine their functional abilities by evaluating both fine and gross motor skills. Then, a vocational interview is performed to determine transferable skills and vocational type testing which will determine the injured persons employability and overall earning capacity.

These tests are needed when an individual has a partial loss or a permanent total loss of earning capacity due to their impairments and disabilities.

When you need an IME, FCE or both?

When you need an IME, FCE or both?

IME’s (Independent Medical Evaluations) and FCE’s (Functional Capacity Evaluations) are both very informative reports in personal injury cases if used properly. The aim of the IME is to determine whether or not your client needs further medical treatment, has any work restrictions, and whether their condition was caused by the accident. However, a physician should avoid placing arbitrary restrictions on abilities without objective assessment and measurement.

The FCE is the preferred method if there is a dispute over the extent of your client’s physical restrictions. Many times, physical impairments, disabilities, and work restrictions obtained through an FCE vary greatly from the insurance company’s doctor’s after undergoing an IME. The FCE is the only way to provide valid and objective measurement of your client’s physical restrictions.

I firmly believe in the medical necessity of an IME coupled with an FCE. The FCE is performed at the time of an Independent Medical Evaluation. The combination of these procedures provides the most realistic insight into impairment/disability, causation, apportionment, and retained safe work capabilities. Both of these exams play a critical role in your client’s recovery and compensation for their injury.