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How Personal Injury Law Firms Expedite Due Diligence to Help Win Cases

As a personal injury attorney, you won’t take on a case you don’t believe will result in a win. However, without thorough due diligence, strong cases may be settled too soon, resulting in a reduction of your client’s true damages — or a loss in court. Hours spent on a case can quickly become a wasted investment and disappoint you and your client.

Conducting web searches or viewing public records takes an immense amount of time and there’s a good chance some data might be old or inaccurate. In addition, the bits and pieces of information you do manage to gather must be put into a coherent, organized format to turn data into knowledge.

There’s an easier way for law firms to gather relevant data to help dramatically shorten due diligence time. Let’s look at two common use cases personal injury firms use to strengthen cases in less time.

Use case 1: Automobile injury case

A legal professional was conducting due diligence for a new client who was injured in a car accident. Upon receiving the accident report, plaintiff’s counsel saw there was no address listed and the phone number was disconnected. The report was a dead end.

To get the investigation back on track, the law firm used TransUnion TruLookup™, a data provider that continually updates information using public and proprietary data to deliver fresh, right-party contact data — including present and past addresses and phone numbers.

Plaintiff’s counsel sought to collect more data on the defendant — who had a common name (Jack Smith) — so they had to ensure any evidence gathered applied to the correct person. The right tool for this task was Advanced People Search which works with even small fragments of data, such as a birthday or state of residence. Outputs include known aliases, Social Security number, driver’s license, professional licenses and relatives — further helping identify and contact the subject.

Watch a quick video to see TruLookup Right-Party Contact with Advanced People Search in action.

Next, a driver’s license search and motor vehicle report revealed the defendant had seven driving violations and was arrested twice, and also showed:

  • Accident reports, type of event and violation date
  • Driving while license suspended
  • Vehicle-related crimes
  • DUIs
  • Hit and runs
  • Negligent or reckless driving
  • Arrests and incarcerations

The firm also wanted information about the defendant’s financial status — information to be considered in a settlement or judgement. TruLookup returned results, including:

  • Assets and property records
  • Properties
  • Business UCC filings

With the TruLookup Comprehensive Report, the law firm went from having almost no information to painting a 360-degree picture of the defendant. In short, plaintiff’s counsel was armed with the evidence needed to build a stronger case in less time and ultimately, win a sizable judgment.

Watch the video to see the type of data included in a Comprehensive Report.

Use case 2: Preparing client for deposition

A personal injury firm represented a client whose severe injuries prevented him from working or driving. The firm needed to confirm the client’s credibility, ensure information wasn’t omitted and anticipate opposing counsel’s lines of questioning. If any critical information was missed, the client’s testimony could be used against him by the defense and damage the plaintiff’s case.

While conducting due diligence, plaintiff’s counsel discovered the client suffered a previous back injury. With this new information, the attorney was able to question the client and prepare him for the defense’s interrogation.

One of the key details in question was whether the plaintiff had been driving following the accident. To verify the plaintiff’s statement he hadn’t, the firm needed to ensure there wasn’t any evidence to the contrary — as it would discredit and invalidate the victim’s claim.

First, the attorney viewed vehicle sightings and license plate recognition. That report, available in this case, showed the vehicle license plate and timestamped any locations of vehicles associated with the plaintiff. There were no sightings in the three months following the accident, so it was reasonable to assume the plaintiff's story was valid.

Watch a short video on vehicle sightings.

An often-overlooked legal tactic is to check social media posts. Had the plaintiff posted about a recent hiking trip or gym workouts, the case could have been destroyed.

Watch a quick video about the Social Media Report.

Data is a game changer

In both use cases, the law firms used TruLookup to find the information needed to prepare and strengthen their cases. Here’s how it works:

Search — Input search criteria from a single name or address to a set of custom parameters.

Identify — Quickly cull relevant records from a database of more than 1 billion data points.

Retrieve — Generate an actionable, 360° report that contains all information relevant to your case.

Analyze — Use advanced features to uncover connections between people, places, businesses and more.

Strengthen — Leverage your data and analyses to make more informed decisions, act with greater certainty and improve case outcomes.

Even strong personal injury cases could be settled too quickly and short of your client’s true damages.

Watch the on-demand webinar for a demonstration of real-life PIP scenarios and how TruLookup uncovers, locates and verifies data that helps you build and win cases.

About TruLookup

Providing access to more than 1 billion data points, TruLookup data solutions retrieve actionable information aggregated from public and proprietary data.

For more information, see our solutions for legal professionals.

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