Doctors Handling Personal Injury Cases

As the nation’s leading litigation publisher, Trial Guides has a great deal it can share with doctors treating personal injury cases.

With injury and death rates on the roads increasing due to distracted driving, the number of injuries from motor vehicle crashes is increasing substantially. According to the USDOT, between 2014 and 2015 as distracted driving became a more serious problem in America, there was an annual increase in traffic deaths of 7.2% - the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. In recent years, pedestrian injuries due to vehicles have increased 9.0% in one year to the highest rate since 1990, SUV occupant injuries have increased 10.1%, and bicycle injuries have increased 12.2% in one year. According to USDOT and NHTSA, nationwide approximately 2,400,000 injuries were sustained as a result of motor vehicle collisions. Traffic crashes are consistently a leading cause of injury for the American public.

Personal injury is a stimulating field of practice offering a broad diversity of injury types and severities, room for intellectual stimulation, interaction with the legal field, and good reimbursement rates. In fact, unlike most fields of practice, PI reimbursement rates are increasing by 8 percent per year nationally.

But to attract personal injury patient referrals, build your practice and create a strong reputation in your community, you must invest in learning about personal injury diagnosis and care, reviewing the research on traumatic injuries, and understanding the legal and insurance claims aspect of personal injury claims.

Trial Guides provides the best education for doctors in the personal injury field. As the nation's leading publisher on litigation, with resources written by America's top trial lawyers, trial consultants, insurance claim experts, and expert witnesses, the company is in a unique position to offer you something that no one else offers—real insight about the many facets of successfully handling personal injury cases. These materials will help you be the leader in your community, thereby helping you build a successful PI practice.


Top 11 Resources for Doctors Handling Personal Injury Cases

The list below contains our top recommended resources for doctors treating personal injury cases. To see all products sold by Trial Guides that relate to doctors handling personal injury cases, please click the button at the bottom of the page.

Recommended Resources

Mastering Personal Injury Cases

A Physician Conference Recording

The PI Masterclass for Doctors
The Mastering Personal Injury Cases DVD set provides doctors the highlights of Trial Guides' intensive Personal Injury Conference for Doctors. This set provides a comprehensive understanding of the insurance and legal issues involved with motor vehicle cases. The set features two of the top motor vehicle trial lawyers in America who will teach you about things that no other personal injury seminar for doctors considers.
Two of America's leading motor vehicle lawyers, Peter Anderson and Aaron DeShaw, address the following topics:


  • Minor impact cases

  • Ways to get your claims out of an insurer's minor impact unit

  • The special investigation fraud unit, and how you can avoid it

  • The problems caused by direct referral program auto body shops

  • Your role in the insurance and legal process of your patient's claim

  • Overcoming the most common defense attacks on you and your patient

  • The critical importance of quality chart notes

  • And much more.


Even if you have provided care to injured people for years, you may know very little about how auto insurers really handle your patient's claims. Understanding this information is necessary to help your patients obtain larger settlement offers so that they can pay for your care, and receive the future care they need.

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Colossus: Understanding Auto Insurance Claims

(Physician)

Approximately 70 percent of all auto insurers in the United States use bodily injury assessment software to evaluate claim value in auto injury cases. Most of them conceal its use. The most widely used bodily injury claim software is called Colossus. Colossus requires specific information from doctors to generate maximum settlement offers for the patients. This is what pays for the patient’s treatment, and any future health care needs caused by the injuries.

Physician records are the most important determinant to settlement values, but only if those records address the information of importance to these insurance computer systems. To take chart notes correctly in personal injury cases, you need to know what the insurers are looking for. Trial Guides offers this DVD that teaches you how to keep records in personal injury cases.

On this DVD, the nation's leading author on Colossus, Doctor / Lawyer Aaron DeShaw, discusses the Top 5 factors in maximizing settlement offers in the claims software programs like Colossus. He discusses how AMA Permanent Impairment ratings increase the value of the case. He teaches how special "Duties Under Duress," and "Loss of Enjoyment of Life," patient forms will provide the best opportunity for your patients to get the maximum offer from Colossus software based on their injuries. He concludes with tips on how to use this specific information to create narrative reports to trigger higher offers in an ethical and honest way.

This CD/DVD set is a must if you handle auto accident cases.

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Colossus: Physician Forms

Would you like to increase your patient’s settlement offers? This CD provides you valuable resources in achieving that goal.

Insurance companies are looking for certain facts about your patients when they evaluate a patient’s injury claim. Insurers are looking at hundreds of factors regarding pain with conducting certain activities and in regard to their change in quality of life after a traumatic injury. Wouldn’t it be nice to have clinical forms that provide your patients every one of those factors in the order in which the adjustor will need to enter them into the evaluation software? If you had forms like that and used them, it would make it much more likely that any patient who visits your office gets higher offers on their personal injury case without inflating the severity of their injuries. Lawyers would come to recognize your office for creating higher value per case. Why would they refer a case anywhere else?

The Colossus Physician Forms CD includes forms specifically designed to maximize your patient’s settlement offer. This includes detailed clinical intake forms to ensure you are learning about all of the patient’s symptoms and injuries, and most importantly, specialty forms to provide the insurance company’s claim software with the information it looks for, including hundreds of claim factors available under “Duties Under Duress” and “Loss of Enjoyment of Life.” These forms can add tens of thousands of dollars to your patient’s case if they are positive, and these forms are not available anywhere else. They are not like the normal disability forms used by doctors – they were specifically backward engineered by Aaron DeShaw during his research on the Colossus system. Without these forms, there is no way that you are collecting all of the information that should be provided value in your patient’s personal injury case. For every case you don’t use the forms on, you are sacrificing potentially thousands of dollars of settlement value on your patients’ cases.

Injured patients and their lawyers are looking for doctors who can provide these types of quality chart notes and forms that will give insurers all the information they need to maximize their settlement offer in an honest and ethical way – accurately reporting the injuries in a way that the insurance company evaluates claims.

Make sure your patient gets a full evaluation of his or her injury claim.

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Mastering Motor Vehicle Cases

The Mastering Motor Vehicle Cases DVD set contains nearly 10 hours of highlights from the first advanced Trial Guides seminar dedicated to motor vehicle cases. It features two of the world's leading authorities on traumatic injuries - epidemiologist, doctor, and crash reconstructionist Dr. Arthur Croft, and Yale Medical School biomechanics researcher Dr. Paul Ivancic, along with doctor/trial lawyer Dr. Aaron DeShaw (best known for his groundbreaking work on the Colossus insurance program).

While this video comes from an exclusive attorneys-only event, the material provides doctors with cutting-edge information on the research behind motor vehicle collisions and the traumatic injuries that result from them. In addition to covering a wide variety of issues related to injury causation, accident reconstruction, and typical defenses associated with all types of auto cases, this set also addresses challenges specific to minor impact cases.

During the presentation, Dr. Croft dismantles the insurance company myth that every PI doctor faces repeatedly—that all patients who sustain a traumatic spinal injury recover within 6-12 weeks. Instead, Dr. Croft teaches you that there are zero scientifically valid studies that support that position. He then shows how there are 89 peer-reviewed studies published since 1955, showing long-term chronic pain after a spinal injury sustained in a motor vehicle collision. This part of the presentation is worth the price of the set alone.

Dr. Ivancic discusses the most recent research conducted at Yale Medical School regarding spinal traumatic injuries even in "minor impact" trauma. Other unique parts of the program include Aaron DeShaw's presentation addressing the role that auto body garages and their "direct referral program" agreements with insurers can result in your patients' cases being designated into the "Minor Impact" unit of an insurer through improper cost-cutting procedures.

This video will take you from the fundaments of insurance claims to much more advanced topics, giving you the information necessary to get your patients fair compensation for their losses and overcome the insurance companies' junk science.

The content of this set is completely different from the materials on the Mastering Personal Injury Cases DVD set.

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Traumatic Injuries

This DVD set is by doctor/lawyer Aaron DeShaw on the topic of diagnosing commonly missed traumatic injuries.

This video educates doctors about commonly missed traumatic injuries. DeShaw covers how to diagnose and document mild traumatic brain injuries, inner ear injuries such as Perilymph Fistula and Endolymph Hydrops, and permanent ligament injuries at C1 that can have devastating effects on patients. Beyond the unique signs and symptoms of the conditions discussed, DeShaw addresses the advanced imaging best used to diagnose these conditions as well as the best specialists to work with in helping these patients.

Throughout the country, doctors use the knowledge from this DVD to get the MRI imaging they need to diagnose and treat serious but often missed traumatic injuries. Others are ordering different imaging to prove C1 instability and understand how that condition can cause chronic pain, vision disturbances, and in some cases temporary blindness. It introduces a host of new types of imaging used in the evaluation of trauma including 3T MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, atlantoaxial MRIs, CSF flow studies, and more. Doctors use this knowledge to better help patients in their injury cases to get the long term care they need. It allows doctors to provide exceptional patient diagnostic skills and formulate the most effective treatment methods for patients with more complex traumatic injuries.

With this cutting edge information, you can obtain better patient outcomes, and substantially increase the value of patients’ personal injury case. In the video Dr. DeShaw discusses how cases often misclassified as $5,000 "soft tissue" cases, or labeled as malingering by insurers, can involve much more serious injuries worth in excess of $100,000, which are almost always missed by other doctors and the patients’ lawyer. In substantially changing the value of claims by way of better diagnostic evaluation, you will provide lawyers in your area a solid reason to send clients to your office to ensure every injury is evaluated and treated properly.

Don't miss your opportunity to be a leader in your community by bringing this critical information to your patients.

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Preparing for a Defense Medical Exam

Defense Medical Examiners (often erroneously referred to as “IMEs”) are hired by the insurance company or a defense lawyer to either terminate your patient's care or say they aren’t really injured. This doctor isn't seeing your patients to help them, and they are not on your side.

Unlike most Trial Guides products aimed at doctors or lawyers, the Preparing for a Defense Medical Exam DVD teaches your patients about the tricks insurance doctors play in their efforts to discredit your patients' honesty, take away their ability to receive the treatment they need to recover, and destroy their insurance claims. These doctors might act like your patient's friend, but they get repeat business because insurers know they will testify against the patient in exchange for insurance company money. Often they make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and others over a million dollars per year denying the claims of injured people, all while avoiding any personal liability for unfounded and improper opinions.

This video gives your patients examples of the medical history and examination procedures so they know what to expect before they walk into the defense doctor's office. It provides your patient with the best chance of being viewed as credible and truly injured after an injury.

This video is hosted by Karen Koehler, one of the United States' leading trial lawyers and an attorney who is dedicated to helping injured people. She will lead your patients through the defense medical examination process and teach them how to avoid the common traps set by insurance doctors. In this video, attorney Koehler includes tips on:


  • Honesty in the history and examination

  • How the defense doctor and staff watch patients to catch them faking an injury

  • Patients giving their best effort, without getting hurt


The outcome of a defense examination is intended to terminate reasonable health care, and destroy the patient’s personal injury claim. But some of the insurance doctor tricks are easier for the patient’s lawyer to reveal as biased or improper. Given that credibility is so important in the outcome of personal injury claims, this video assists the injured person in providing the most honest and credible presentation possible during their interaction with the insurance doctor.

You can use this video with every patient subjected to a defense medical exam – providing a unique benefit to your patients involved in personal injury claims.

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Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

A Guide for Patients and Practitioners

With nearly 350 published articles, multiple books, and a long running continuing education course on traumatic injuries to his credit, Dr. Arthur Croft is one of America's leading experts in the study of auto crash injuries. With over 20 years of research comes his most recent book—Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries—covering every aspect of traumatic auto injuries from muscle strain to traumatic brain injury. Dr. Croft outlines the most recent research on cervical acceleration/deceleration injuries, other spinal injuries, extremity injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Croft explains the mechanics of rear end crashes versus side impact, versus front impact, and debunks "junk science" surrounding the "minor impact" defense. Diagrams and illustrations accompany the more complex explanations. Dr. Croft further details testing, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries, along with suggestions for common problems that injured people face in insurance disputes.

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Forensic Epidemiology

Principles and Practice

One of the primary purposes for a doctor in a legal case is addressing the issue of “causation” – whether the defendant’s negligence caused damage to the injured party.

Dr. Michael Freeman — one of the world’s leading forensic epidemiologists — has contributed to a great new book on epidemiology, which is often the basis for difficult causation determinations. Freeman handles cases involving everything from the risks of product defects (including pharmaceuticals), medical procedures, traffic injuries and death (including injuries caused by collisions involving minor vehicle damage), criminal prosecution and defense, and many other types of cases. An analysis of these types of cases are discussed in the book.

With insurance lawyers providing a list of alternative explanations or confounding factors, how do treating doctors or plaintiff expert witnesses consider causation? Forensic Epidemiology helps doctors reorient their thinking from looking at the wrong set of data to focusing in on what really matters in causation determination. There are chapters on biomechanics, life expectancy (and how the mortality tables often underestimate it), pediatric head injuries, as well as a detailed consideration of causation analysis in traumatic injury cases.

Forensic Epidemiology also provides doctors with information that is helpful to planning for the deposition and cross-examination by the opposing lawyer, including the following:


  • The theory and science underlying the use of risk to assess individual causation

  • A primer on epidemiological methods and various measures used to arrive at individualized comparative risk assessments and proximate cause

  • The use of statistical methods applied to publicly available data for ad hoc analysis of proximate cause, applicable to the specific circumstances of a case.


Forensic Epidemiology will also help you dismantle adverse witnesses who have no scientific substantiation for their opinion.

Through a cooperative effort with the world’s leading scientific publisher, Elsevier, Trial Guides is proud to help bring this important book to our customers.

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You Can‘t Teach Vision

The Twenty-First Century Law Firm

A successful practice involves more than just treating patients. It requires successful business management. This book is aimed at helping your clinic thrive in a competitive environment.
Author John Morgan is the founder of the largest personal injury law firm in America—Morgan & Morgan, which has over 400 lawyers and 2,000 staff in multiple states. He has written two books on practice management. His second book, You Can’t Teach Vision, has gained a following from doctors who want to build and expand their clinics.

A doctor who has owned over 10 clinics during his career noted, “I have attended practice management seminars for decades, and consulted with leading practice management professionals since the 1970s. With that background, I can tell you that You Can’t Teach Vision is probably one of the best business books for doctors that I have ever read. This book will take doctors through all of the important steps of taking your practice from the beginning and making it a huge success, while focusing on great customer service. While Morgan is talking about achieving success in the legal field and in his other business ventures, nearly all of the same concepts apply to building a successful clinic or group of clinics.

"This is a book that just kept getting better and better as I read, and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I have no doubt that if you read and apply the business principles in this book, you will be phenomenally successful in your career.”

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AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment

Fifth Edition

AMA permanent impairment ratings are the second largest driver of non-economic damages in motor vehicle settlements (second only to the injury diagnoses).  Permanent impairment is also known to cause future diminished earning capacity for the patient’s “economic damages” claim due to a reduction in impaired people’s future earning capacity and work life expectancy.  Despite these reports substantiating important losses for those patients that are permanently impaired, few doctors request or perform an AMA impairment rating report on their cases.  The result is that these patients, often don’t get the money that the client deserves.


The AMA Guides is the standard of care for determining permanent impairment.  Owning the book, and reviewing the ways in which permanent impairment ratings are determined, allows you to understand when a patient has an injury or symptoms that result in a permanent impairment rating.  Secondarily, the book is very helpful when preparing to testify about the defense doctor’s determination that there is no permanent impairment.  In many cases the defense doctor has failed to follow the standard of care of reviewing the AMA Guides when they determined your patient had no permanent impairment.  Be prepared for the defense to say that the AMA Guides only pertain to workers compensation claims – something expressly disproved in the opening chapters of the Guides.


Please note: We do not recommend the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 6th Edition, both because auto insurers continue to use the 5th Edition, and because the 6th Edition is sufficiently controversial and flawed, that it should not be admissible in trial.

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Whiplash Injuries

The Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome, Third Edition

This is the first, and perhaps the most notable book on traumatic spinal injuries ever written for doctors. It is only low on our list as the 3rd Edition is out of print and at this point somewhat dated.  If you can find a copy you should buy it. If not, the best alternative is Dr. Croft’s more recent book Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries discussed above. 

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