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.

Need to respond to and counter a low personal injury settlement offer?

Need to respond to and counter a low personal injury settlement offer?

Insurance adjusters are well trained in knowing how to give low-ball settlement offers after a demand package has been presented to them. Typically, the initial settlement offer is merely based on the adjuster’s ceiling or the predetermined amount they are authorized to offer to settle the claim.

This amount is always artificial and can be negotiated. The difference between the adjusters’ authority and the amount they persuade you to settle for is the insurance company’s profit margin.

Adjusters are notorious for giving a minimal settlement offer right out of the gate by questioning things like liability issues and stating that the injuries weren’t serious enough to claim the amount of medical treatment received.

Usually, low-ball offers are due to the insurance adjuster having an unclear picture of how your client’s injury truly affects their daily life.

In order to get a fair settlement offer, the insurance adjuster needs adequate documentation to justify your counter to their settlement offer. Oftentimes, you need to take your negotiations to a whole new level in order to get the settlement your client deserves.

This is done by supplementing your current demand package with objective reports prepared by experts. Painting a clear picture of how your client’s impairments and disabilities impact their ability to perform work-related tasks, activities of daily living, and leisure activities as well as future medical/rehabilitative care and associated costs help to solidify how the collision has affected their daily life and will continue to do so in the future.

Expert reports such as functional capacity evaluations, vocational rehabilitation and earning capacity reports, medical cost projections, and life care plans are often needed to help showcase the damages when negotiating with the insurance adjuster so you can get a fair settlement for your client.

Our job at IRC is to educate your firm about the reports needed to best represent your client’s injury and how the injury has affected their lives. Our simple and easy to read reports provide a new level of understanding between both the attorney and insurance company 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.

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. 

How is Permanent Impairment Derived?

How is Permanent Impairment Derived?

Permanent injury or impairment can be a major factor in any personal injury or workers compensation case. Doctors base permanent impairment ratings on three different criteria. These are as follows:

Diagnosis: The proper and accurate diagnosis is crucial in defining the injury as well as the disability that the doctor expects the client to have as a result of the injury.

Diagnostic studies: MRI’s, CT scan, X-rays; etc are all used to help establish an accurate objective diagnosis.

Functional Impairments: These types of impairments determine the range of ratings that the client will fall into based on the results of a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). The evaluation findings confirm the diagnosis and quantifies its severity.

Permanent impairment ratings are used to maximize the value of the case by showing the full impact of the injury and how it affects the client’s ability to perform work related tasks, activities of daily living, and leisure activities. If you have a client that has deficits both cognitively and / or orthopedically, a functional capacity evaluation is the most valid and objective test that will assist in accurately determining the impairment rating. IRC Services include the following:

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. 

A Doctor Life Care Planner Can Make All The Difference

A Doctor Life Care Planner Can Make All The Difference

Life care planners come from different walks of life and are trained in different schools of thought. While the end result is becoming a certified life care planner from the International Commission On Health Care Certification (ICHCC), their credentials and experience will allow or disallow them to opine on certain topics throughout the life care plan they produce.

Doctor life care planners practice under their respected scope of practice and can therefore opine on many aspects of future care of the patient after performing an examination on the client as well as reviewing the medical records. This allows the doctor life care planner to give opinions on not only their current care, future care, and future costs, but also how those three elements coexist with the client’s impairments and disabilities and how these will essentially affect their clients life.

A doctor life care planner can help to streamline the damages report process and improve the likelihood of a settlement being procured in mediation as opposed to trial.
When you need a “Medical Bill Review” report

When you need a “Medical Bill Review” report

As an attorney representing your client, you may often wonder if the medical bills that they incur due to their injury are usual, customary, and reasonable (UCR). Many times, when a personal injury claim is being processed, the usual, customary and reasonableness of the medical bills can sometimes be queried. Without a Medical Bill Review, it is unknown if the medical bills are within reasonable limits for certain codes within the geographic area where the equipment was received or treatment was provided. 

Both plaintiff and defense attorneys find these reports useful in order to help insurance adjusters or juries understand the reasonableness of the charges at stake. Once a Medical Bill Review is completed, you will have a clear picture how the specific medical care and its costs conform to industry accepted standards. Our bill reviews are performed by Certified Professional Billers (CPB) and our reports are evidence-based, reliable, and defensible. 

Our straightforward and easy-to-understand reports allow inquiring parties to understand their compensability relative to the UCR of the related medical expenses.

IRC Services:

Life Care Planning
Medical Cost Projections
Functional Capacity Evaluations
Vocational Rehab Assessments
Expert Testimony Services
Medical Bill Review

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

Medical Cost Projection vs. Life Care Plan

Medical Cost Projection vs. Life Care Plan

Quite often I have attorneys ask me the question, “What kind of report is recommended for what type of case?” While the answer can seem complex, here are some good rule-of-thumb guidelines that can help guide you in the settlement process.

A Life Care Plan is a comprehensive estimate of an individual’s medical and non-medical needs throughout their lifetime that result from a catastrophic injury or chronic illness. Typically, life care plans are for individuals who are suffering from a chronic illness, catastrophic injury, require in-home care and long-term management and can include any of the following:

  • Medical / Personal Injuries
  • Chronic Pain
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns and traumas
  • Transplants
  • Birth injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Elder Care

A Medical Cost Projection on the other hand is a condensed report that forecasts all future medical, rehabilitative, durable medical equipment, and pharmaceutical costs of a claimant’s non-catastrophic injury or illness, including:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents involving whiplash associated dysfunction
  • Orthopedic impairments and disabilities
  • Non-invasive spinal procedures including: Nerve ablations, Medial Branch Blocks, Facet Injections, Epidurals; etc
  • Surgical Procedures such as spinal fusions; etc. 

When Would I Need a Medical Cost Projection Instead of a Life Care Plan?

Compared to a life care plan, a medical cost projection is a shorter, abbreviated estimate of medical care costs. Oftentimes an in-person interview is not included in the estimation of a medical cost projection. The turnaround time is shorter and more cost effective than that of a life care plan. While a life care plan may be used when a case is going to trial, a medical cost projection is ideal for:

  • Preparing for mediation
  • Negotiating during settlement
  • Tight timelines
  • Smaller case budgets
  • Limited insurance policies

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas on how to guide your next case as you approach settlement.