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The course “Handling Severe Bodily Injury Claims” is designed to enhance the student’s knowledge, understanding, and professional competence in the legal and claims handling aspects of severe bodily injury claims. The module is presented by Kyle Roehler of the law firm Foland, Wickens, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer, PC.

Mr. Roehler begins by emphasizing the usefulness of checklists in claims handling and offers a custom checklist for severe bodily injury claims. Next, he covers the importance of jurisdictional differences among the states. He then speaks extensively about the most common types of experts that plaintiffs use in proving their damages, and what each expert will testify to. Mr. Roehler then examines the law of punitive damages and presents research regarding what will make a jury want to punish a defendant. Finally, he walks the audience through two example claims handling scenarios, one involving notice of potential for excess exposure and one involving multiple claims with one low limit policy.

After completing the course, the viewer should be able to…

utilize a step by step checklist for handling severe bodily injury claims; gain an awareness of the differences in laws among the jurisdictions; parse the difference in a file between “medical billed” and “medical paid”; list the most common types of expert witnesses in a severe bodily injury trial; identify how each of these experts will testify and the methods they will use to arrive at their conclusions; identify situations in which a jury might award punitive damages; describe analytically a mathematical equation that presents the likelihood of a jury awarding punitive damages; identify situations in which an adjuster should notify the insured of a potential for excess exposure; and use the best practices in claims handling when presented with a situation in which there are multiple claimants with just one low limit policy.

The course is designed for practitioners, attorneys, and insurance professionals working in the area of third-party casualty insurance claims handling and litigation.

What CE Credit is available?

Note: To qualify for credit, you must submit completion (including a passed final exam if required) within five days of completing the last quiz. No partial credits will be awarded.

Adjuster General CE Hours:
Adjuster Ethics CE Hours:
Attorney General CLE Hours:
State's Course ID:
NH 2.0 475832
TX (classroom equivalent) 1.0 105685
NC 2.0 C62748
FL * ( Provider Number: 364169 ) 2.0 (Not Approved for 5-Hour Requirement) 1189236
IL 2.0 542569
WY 2.0 27288
OK 2.0 1026993

* This course has been approved by the Florida Department of Financial Services for insurance continuing education credit.

Course Content

Lesson Content

1) Introduction of speaker
2) Outline of presentation
3) Distractions in claims handling
4) The use of checklists / bodily injury checklist
5) Jurisdictional differences
a) General state differences
b) Example: Missouri vs. Kansas, in Kansas City
6) Economic damages
a) Medical billed vs. Medical paid
b) States treat these numbers differently
7) Key experts in proving damages
a) vocational expert
b) rehabilitation doctor
c) life care planner
d) economist
8) Recap

Lesson Content

1) Vocational Expert
a) Opine as to plaintiff’s ability to return to work
b) Use the Dictionary of Occupational Titles
2) Rehabilitation Doctor
a) Opine as to future medical complications
b) Assist in life care plan
3) Life Care Planner
a) Identify the lifetime needs of the plaintiff
b) Assist in life care plan
4) Economist
a) Wage losses
b) Time value of a day

Lesson Content

1) Non-Economic damages
a) Caps on non-economic damages
2) Fault of other parties
a) Joint and several liability
b) Comparative fault regimes
3) Punitive damages jury instruction
4) Coverage of punitive damages
5) Additional evidence coming in at trial
a) Defendant’s wealth
b) Post-accident response
6) Jury research
a) Bad acts
b) Insensitivity at trial
c) Systemic problem
7) Recap

Lesson Content

1) Mathematical formula for a jury’s desire to punish
2) Example applications of the formula
a) Repeat DUI offender kills boy on bike
b) Remorseful first time offender kills his passenger
3) Takeaways from the mathematical formula
4) Intangibles of a case
a) Politically sensitive
b) Community reputations
5) Jurisdictional issues
6) The judge’s leanings
7) Excess exposure
8) Recap

Lesson Content

1) Example work-through problem
a) Car accident with policy limits of $250k/$500k
b) One claimant has $23k in medical bills and no lost wages
c) One claimant has $63k in medical bills and $25k in lost wages
d) Should there be notice?
2) Who should receive notice of potential for excess?
3) What is the proper manner of giving notice of potential for excess?
a) In writing
b) Right to retain separate counsel
c) Settlement opportunities or demands
4) Recap

Lesson Content

1) Not always a way to eliminate all exposure
2) Example work-through problem
a) Multiple claimants with insufficient coverage
b) Possible to obtain a release from some of the claimants
c) The other claimant is the insured’s friend
3) A global resolution is not always possible
4) Interpleader
5) Five step process to handle multiple claimants
a) Investigate the claims
b) Communicate with the insured
c) Get a global settlement if possible
d) Keep the insured apprised of settlement opportunities
e) Settle the individual claims in a reasonable manner
6) Recap

Submit within 5 days to get CE Credit or Certificate of Completion.