How do you use it?
DDS provides the only non-biased double blind expert reporting in the industry. Because the board certified radiologist does not know whether he or she is giving an opinion for an insurance company, Plaintiff’s or Claimant’s counsel, Defense counsel, third party adjusting firm or any other party, it removes any argument that the doctor’s opinion is influenced in any way by the ordering party. The goal of a non-biased report is to provide the highest level of credibility for the expert opinion provided. A non-biased Age of Injury Report (“AOI”) can be used in a variety of ways to help facilitate the effective management and resolution of your case or claim.
The AOI is used as a claim’s management tool for either side. Early in the process, when diagnostic studies are ordered, our clients will have an AOI performed to know which direction the case or claim is heading. While the first read report provided by the original radiologist may identify certain findings on the MRI, their job is not to identify whether the findings are related to the date of the injury. Rather, the first read radiologist simply identifies what findings are present regardless of causation. Armed with objective information on causation, our clients can confidently move the case or claim in direction dictated by the AOI report.
The AOI is used to negotiate the value of the claim or case. As we all know, many cases end up resolving prior to a hearing or trial of the underlying facts that make up the case or claim. When settling a case or claim, one of the major factors used to move the value up or down is causation. An AOI report provides a unique opportunity to present evidence to the opposing party to leverage the settlement value. Unfortunately, in the typical situation, both sides have hired a doctor or expert that will be perceived by the other as biased for the party paying for the expert opinion provided. This perception often has the effect of discrediting or devaluing what otherwise may be a valid opinion. In the settlement of a case or claim, you are trying to impart upon the other side the strength of your position. The double blind process used by DDS to shield our experts from the identity of the ordering party provides a report that cannot be discredited because of the usual bias arguments. Our clients have found that the opposing party almost has to accept our expert’s opinion because a judge or jury views the non-biased expert in a light much different than the typical expert opinion.
The AOI report is a great client management tool. Often clients will take a position that the injury is related or unrelated to the date of the accident regardless of the facts present. Our clients use the AOI report to document the file and manage the client by providing an independent third party opinion that identifies the relationship between the injury and the date of the accident. Our report gives you the backup to explain why you are making the decisions you make to the client.
The AOI report is strong evidence to support the case during litigation or trial of a matter. The AOI report is the initial engagement for your non-biased medical expert. In most states, you do not have to disclose the AOI report in a litigation scenario until you identify us as a testifying expert. We are also not a medical record because the opinion is not given for the purpose of treating the patient.
...in certain liability situations, Plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel use the AOI report in the defense of subrogation claims to show that certain medical bills are not associated with the date of the injury to reduce third party liability for medical bills, thus facilitating the settlement of the case or claim.