We have all heard the old saying, “you get what you pay for” right? Well, this phrase holds true in most business scenarios, but most importantly, with personal injury cases. Expert reports can be a “case-closing grand slam” when done correctly, but it’s easy for those to fall short if done improperly or by the wrong expert. 

Many attorneys spring for a “budget” report, hoping to save a few dollars, but when attorneys don’t pay for the appropriate expert to author a thorough report for their client’s case, money is left on the table and they end up doing their client a huge disservice.

One of my favorite stories helps to illustrate this concept beautifully…  

A giant ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure out how to fix the machine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for $10,000.00.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”

So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer…………………. $ 2.00

Knowing where to tap……………………. $ 9,998.00

The moral of the story:
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference!

The meaning of this story has proven true time and time again as I review “so-called pocket medical cost projections” that are performed by non-certified life care planners.  There is a reason why there are certifications in life care planning and when you invest in a certified life care planner to methodologically determine the correct future care and associated costs, you receive a quality report that will hold up in trail and help your client get the money needed for any future care that they require from their collision.

I had a recent personal experience reviewing a “pocket medical cost projection” on a catastrophic injury case. The representing attorney thought they could save a few dollars and ended up using a “run-of-the-mill” company to produce a cost projection at a very low cost. After all, the cost projection only needed to include what the treating pain management physician was recommending, right? Wrong!

As the story goes on, the cost projection determined the cost of what the physician was recommending, and that was all. Unfortunately the injured person was catastrophically injured and literally required millions of dollars more in future projected evaluations, projected therapeutic modalities, future routine medical care, durable medical equipment, supplies, aids for independent function, home care, transportation, and home modifications that were directly related to the impairments and subsequent disabilities they suffered from due to their collision. The moral of this story is that the person they hired to do the “pocket cost projection” was not a certified life care planner and therefore not credible to opine on the added future care needs. 

Therefore, due to the attorney trying to save a few dollars with the pocket medical cost projection that they used, it essentially cost the client millions of dollars in the long run because they were not able to present the full scope of care that the client needed to the insurance company.   

Dr. Poppie had 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 doctor Life Care Planner, Dr. Poppie helps to guide attorneys through all phases of their case and documents impairments with accurate associated costs that are reliable in educating opposing sides as to the true extent of injury. 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.

Dr. Brad Poppie has over 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 you would like to discuss their need for an expert report, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at: dr.bradleypoppie@physicalrehabspecialists.com

Visit IRC on Youtube for educational videos on this process!