Common Mistakes Defendants Make Regarding Damages in Personal Injury Cases

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Defendants often make mistakes when presenting their case—and as the plaintiff which may impact the damages part of a personal injury case. Economist Patrick Gaughan, Ph.D., a forensic economist with Economatrix, illuminates ten common mistakes that defendants make during the damages portion of a personal injury case. As a plaintiff, you and your legal team may wish to be aware of these. We will examine two of the ten mistakes in a series of five blogs.

Mistake #1: “Case Preparation.” While it may seem surprising that professional attorneys make mistakes, it happens more often than you might realize. Insurance companies often ask defense attorneys to “do more” but “bill less.” This results in huge caseloads, and the defense attorneys’ time is stretched to the limit. As a result, defense attorneys may concentrate mostly on an insurance company’s liability in a personal injury case, but not on the damages which may be owed to the plaintiff.

Mistake #2: “Failing to Conduct Complete Document Discovery.” Defense attorneys often do not gather enough documentation to verify a plaintiff’s claims for damages. In lost wages claims, defendants should collect a complete income history from the plaintiff. But they don’t always do this.

These kinds of mistakes on the part of defense attorneys can negatively affect the documentation of a personal injury case damages.  Defendants may not obtain the proper financial records, may not retain a

vocational expert early in the case if at all, and may not retain an economist to testify to the “bottom-line” figure.

A  substantial part in explaining why a plaintiff should be awarded substantial damages is based on factors such as the plaintiff’s ability to return to the workplace, whether the plaintiff may be able to work at the same level that he or she could prior to the injury, and current job market data which may affect the plaintiff. This is the reason a vocational expert and a forensic economist should be retained by the defendant early in the case.

Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the top companies providing vocational expert and life care planning services in the United States for plaintiff and defendant attorneys. We have extensive experience documenting the case damages in Personal Injury cases. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help with your case.