Does Your Case Truly Support Your Demand Letter Settlement Request?

Does Your Case Truly Support Your Demand Letter Settlement Request?

Drafting a demand letter is an essential step in the process of resolving legal disputes. It serves as a formal request for settlement and outlines your clients’ grievances, the desired outcome, and the consequences if their demands are not met. However, before sending out a demand letter, it’s crucial to evaluate whether your case genuinely substantiates your settlement request.

The cornerstone of any demand letter are the legal claims you are asserting. These claims form the foundation for your settlement request and must be substantiated by credible evidence. There are two primary reasons why insurance companies often don’t take your demand settlement package seriously:

1. Inadequate documentation of diagnosable impairments:  

Having reviewed hundreds of personal injury cases over the years, I’ve observed countless instances where ALL diagnosable impairments are not documented, inadequately documented, or completely disregarded and left unattended.

For instance, in many cases involving clients with multiple trauma injuries resulting from a motor vehicle collision, injuries are often prioritized based on their life-threatening or most severe pain-inducing nature which may cause overshadowing of less apparent impairments. Orthopedic impairments like broken bones, herniated discs, facet injuries, and ligament tears take precedence, while these less-obvious issues, such as short-term memory deficits, decreased attention span, dizziness, blurred vision, and tinnitus, often go undiagnosed and consequently remain undocumented. These signs are often symptoms of post-concussive and mild traumatic brain injuries and when left undocumented, can cause your client’s case to be severely undervalued.

2. Lack of Quantification of Diagnosed Impairments:

Orthopedic and cognitive impairments that are not quantified in terms of their severity and their impact on your clients’ lives are typically inputted into an insurance company’s system to generate a low-ball valuation based on the insurer’s subjective assessment of the impairments’ worth.

It is crucial to quantify how these impairments affect your clients’ daily lives, including their ability to provide for their family, perform activities of daily living, and engage in leisure activities. The most trial-tested, valid, and objectively reliable method to quantify your clients’ impairments is through a Functional Capacity Evaluation to assess physical abilities or a Cognitive Functional Capacity Evaluation to evaluate cognitive deficits and their effects on executive functioning skills, concentration, and attention span.

Before sending out a demand letter and making a settlement request, it is essential to evaluate whether your case comprehensively and quantitatively supports the impairments upon which you base your demands. By taking these two pivotal steps into account, you can significantly enhance the chances of achieving a successful resolution to your dispute.

Dr. Brad Poppie has over 20 years of personal injury experience providing care as a treating doctor, coordinating rehabilitative case management, and expert trial testimony services.  If you have a client that you would like to discuss their need for an expert report, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at:

Your Case Is Too Important To Entrust With Amateurs

Your Case Is Too Important To Entrust With Amateurs

Suffering from a personal injury can be a life-altering event causing physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burden to your client. For such cases, seeking appropriate experts becomes crucial to ensuring you have the ammunition needed to properly represent your case.

Your experts not only educate the insurance company of the client’s diagnosis, functional impairments, and future care needs, but they also paint a picture of how these impairments affect the client’s life. Therefore, deciding which medical-legal expert to entrust your personal injury case with, is not to be taken lightly.

The Complexities of Personal Injury Cases:

While there are many expert medical professionals out there, not all possess the expertise and experience necessary to navigate the complexities of personal injury cases.

Personal injury cases encompass a wide range of incidents including car accidents, slip-and-fall, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries. Each case is unique, involving intricate legal and medical aspects that require careful analysis and attention. Amateur “experts”, or Life Care Planners who specialize in Senior Care rather than Personal Injury, lack the knowledge to fully understand the nuances of case management, establishing causation, quantification of impairments, and determining future care needs. Their inexperience risks critical errors that often jeopardize the chances of receiving fair compensation for your client.

Navigating What Expert to Hire:

Navigating the sea of possible medical-legal experts can be a daunting task. After all, you are entrusting this expert to make potential life-altering opinions regarding your client’s impairments and future care. Therefore, it is imperative to choose wisely.

An amateur expert might struggle to meet deadlines, miss important documents, or mishandle future care considerations for your client due to their lack of experience or understanding of the full extent of your client’s impairment.

In contrast, a seasoned and professional medical-legal expert with years of experience has a deep understanding of the legal landscape, ensuring that every step is executed efficiently and effectively.

Doctor life care planners work within their respective scope of practice allowing them to perform specialized examinations on the client as well as fully analyze the client’s medical records. This supports the doctor life care planner’s authority to opine 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 affect the client’s life. A doctor life care planner can also help streamline the damages report process and improve the likelihood of a settlement being procured in mediation as opposed to trial.

Trial Experience:

While many personal injury cases are settled out of court, some do proceed to trial. In such instances, having an experienced medical-legal expert by your side, with a track record for winning on the stand can make a world of difference. Amateur experts struggle to present a compelling opinion and lack the courtroom presence and advocacy skills needed to properly educate and sway a judge or jury. On the contrary, skilled medical-legal experts are well-versed in courtroom dynamics, and their expertise can help tip the scales in your clients’ favor.

When choosing a doctor life care planner, consider one that has decades of experience treating the types of patients and impairments that your client is suffering from to support their credibility on the stand. After all, it’s not the question of if the authored Life Care Plan can hold up in court, but rather the question of if the one who authored the plan can hold up in court.


When faced with a personal injury, the decision to seek the appropriate medical-legal expert should be backed by careful research and consideration. While amateurs might offer lower fees, the potential risks and consequences of entrusting your case to them far outweigh any initial savings. Personal injury cases demand a level of expertise, experience, and dedication that only seasoned professionals can provide. By partnering with an established medical-legal expert, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands, increasing your chances of receiving the compensation your client rightfully deserves.

Dr. Brad Poppie has over 20 years of personal injury experience providing care as a treating doctor, coordinating rehabilitative case management, and expert trial testimony services. If you have a client that you would like to discuss their need for an expert report, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at:

This important damages’ expert can make or break your case! Evolution of a life care planner.

This important damages’ expert can make or break your case! Evolution of a life care planner.

Determining future medical care for your client has traditionally been calculated by either a certified life care planner or by the law firm itself. In the past, a life care planner was hired toward the end of the case’s lifecycle as a last-ditch effort to avoid trial.  

While that tactic may have been acceptable ten years ago, more recently, things have started to change. Attorneys are discovering that hiring a life care planner at the beginning of the case can help provide valuable insights throughout all phases to help get the case settled in an acceptable and swift manner.

This can be especially valuable when a life care planner is hired during the pre-litigation phase as their impact can help with their cases’ outcome tenfold. Think of it this way; If a case is like a ship, the life care planner is most effective as the helmsman or navigator. The skilled life care planner can bring an element of foresight to the pre-litigated case to help guide the ship for the attorney (the captain) throughout the route to settlement. Waiting to get the life care planner involved right before the ship docks at the destination would be a mistake, because while they can help dock the boat, chances are, without a navigation specialist, time and efficiency were wasted during the journey.  

Below are some very important values that the life care planner can bring to your pre-litigation phase:

Determining any missing records that need to be requested.
All too often I receive medical records to review for a case that are missing very important records that could reveal information that is crucial for a valid and reliable report. 

Helping in the preparation of a demand package.
Oftentimes, in the pre-litigation phase, future and marginal medical costs are estimated to present a rough understanding of future damages. A simple medical cost projection produced by the life care planner will certify that the future costs are in fact accurate, required, usual, reasonable, and customary. This report will save the law firm time and money, and significantly increase the chances of getting the case settled prior to litigation.

Helping to assist in identifying the appropriate experts needed:  
While working through medical records, I often come across gaps in care, archaic records, or inadequate practitioners that can make it difficult to provide a sound and accurate life care plan. The last thing you want to discover as an attorney walking into trial, is that your life care planner uncovered that all along your client was experiencing post-concussive / cognitive symptoms and they never saw a neuropsychologist for an evaluation. By getting a life care planner involved early-on in the process, they can help you avoid roadblocks and setbacks as you prepare your case. 

Educating attorneys on the proper questions to ask opposing experts:
No member of your team will understand the case better than your life care planner. You can bet that treating practitioners will be disconnected from the varying practitioner opinions of the case relative to their prescribed care for your client. A skilled life care planner is well versed in the collaboration of multiple specialties and can help determine the most appropriate questions to ask both your retained and opposing experts to help educate the jury of their findings.

As you can see, retaining a life care planner early on in your case, can improve the process and prevent last minute scrambling to put future medical care costs on paper. I can assure you that leaving a life care planner out of the process will prove to be a disservice to your client as many important items may be left undiscovered and therefore not taken into consideration.  

If you have a case that could benefit from the insights of a life care planner, reach out to one today. You’ll receive valuable information and insight throughout the process to support a more thorough case. 

Dr. Poppie has served the legal industry as a treating clinician, damages expert, and educator for over 20 years. He specializes in the evaluation and treatment of multi-trauma injuries related to motor vehicle collisions, standard of care and malpractice claims, and as a damages expert to help educate insurance companies and both plaintiff and defense counsel to provide a viable pathway for obtaining a fair settlement based on ethics, research, and evidence-based standards of care. 

As a certified life care planner, Dr. Poppie helps to guide attorneys through all phases of their case and projects accurate and reliable future medical costs. Evidence-based practice guidelines are utilized in all reports in order to ensure the needed criteria is met to withstand scrutiny within all legal jurisdictions. 

Dr. Poppie founded Injury Reporting Consultants to help attorneys and insurance companies resolve personal injury cases through medical analysis and reporting. Injury Reporting Consultants is a collaborative team of dedicated medical professionals using their knowledge to ensure fair outcomes for all parties in personal injury cases.

Recognized specialties include Motor Vehicle Collision, Life Care Planning, Medical Cost Projection, Functional Capacity Evaluation, Onsite Job Analysis, Functional Impairment and Disability, Workplace Injuries, Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Standards of Care, Current Best Practices, Physical Therapy Malpractice, Negligence, File and Medical Record Review, Improper Documentation, Expert Rebuttal Reports, and Expert Testimony.

If you have a client that you would like to discuss their need for an expert report, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at: