When developing a personal injury case, the hardest thing to prove to an insurance company or jury is how the client’s accident affects their life. It’s one thing to document and prove an injury via diagnostic tests that show a disc herniation, ligament tear; etc. but it doesn’t relay how those injuries affect their ability to perform work duties, ADL’s, or leisure activities.
These “loss of quality of life” variables are only documented through a Functional Capacity Evaluation. The skilled Functional Capacity Evaluator will spend 3-4 hours with the client assessing all aspects of their ability to perform functional tasks using their upper / lower extremities and core.
Typically, when a Functional Capacity Evaluation is included on a personal injury case, it presents to the insurance company with the client’s true functional limitations which drastically helps to get the case settled in mediation. Should the case go to trial, the jury can easily relate to functional losses documented in the Functional Capacity Evaluation much more than complicated diagnostic test outcomes and pathological conditions.
One of the biggest reasons a case might fail to settle in mediation is due to improperly prepared claims. Since the mediator has little control over the preparation of each party’s case, it’s easy for either the plaintiff’s attorney or the defendants’ attorney to drop the ball. To help streamline this process and ensure that the case is moving toward a resolution, I have prepared a list of questions the mediator can ask counsel when the claim is first scheduled for mediation.
A. Have you determined all disputed issues?
B. If Applicable, Have you started working on “Medicare Set Aside” and “CMS” Approval?
C. Has “All Discovery” Been Answered?
D. Has all relevant information been updated prior to mediation?
- Restrictions, including all Functional Capacity Evaluations
- Causation/future treatment opinions from all physicians
- Medical Bills, both paid and unpaid
- All medical records, including any prior relevant medical records
E. Has a “Demand” been sent prior to mediation?
F. Are there any Life Care Plans or Medical Cost Projections determining future medical care and costs?
The case that includes the components above allows both the plaintiff and defense to clearly understand what is being asked for and validates the value of the case. This provides for a swift and fair settlement.
Let Injury Reporting Consultants help guide you on your next case to help make the process easy to understand and provide the value you need to help settle your case in mediation.