“The Case Works Difference”
The world of mass tort litigation has its own rules. These cases are vastly different from single event personal injury cases.
First-time mass tort attorneys are used to regularly checking in with each client. They want to use the same high-touch business principles they use for single event cases. But this leaves them overwhelmed, understaffed, and struggling each step of the way.
To build a successful mass tort practice, it is imperative to leverage technology to handle the administrative side of managing cases. It does not necessarily take an army of people to handle thousands of claims. Building a scalable technology platform is a much better and more efficient approach.
If that sounds daunting or overwhelming, you may consider outsourcing mass tort case development to a firm like Case Works who has already built a highly successful and proven technology stack to handle tens of thousands of mass tort claims across most major dockets.
Here are 7 ways to master the nuts and bolts of mass tort case development:
1. Follow the Right Metrics
When deciding what to measure and track, it is best to start with the end in mind. When all is said and done, the settlement value of your compensable cases is what matters to you, your partners, and your clients. Focus on outcomes and work backward from there. How many compensable cases do you have and what is the value? Tracking cost per lead and cost per signed retainer may add some value, but those are front-end metrics that do not directly drive profitability. If a high volume of cases get rejected along the way because they don’t prove up as fileable, profitability will remain an elusive goal.
2. Make a Good First Impression
We have found that firms often overlook this opportunity to make a strong first impression to their own detriment. Many firms procrastinate and wait days or even weeks to make the initial connection with a new client. Procrastination can be expensive. If a new client doesn’t hear from you in 24 to 48 hours, their excitement has waned. Their initial impression is that they are not very important to your firm. Just like everyone else, your newly signed client wants to feel special.
Truthfully, it’s relatively easy to make this happen if you have a great mass tort intake system in place. In today’s online world, a client looking for an attorney has hundreds of options. The average client may contact three to five law firms looking for the ideal match. Typically, the firm with the most responsive staff who gives the right first impression will win the heart of the potential new client.
3. Set the Stage for Success
Proactive communication with mass tort clients is an important area of focus. Regular client engagement reduces dual rep issues, keeps your name in front of clients, and makes life easier for your staff because clients are more responsive when you need them. Informed, engaged, and satisfied clients will gladly refer their family and friends to your firm.
4. Master Medical Record Acquisition and Review
Knowing which medical records to order is not as straightforward as it may seem. Overordering can drive up costs and bog down the review process. Not ordering the right records on the first try causes extensive delays as the record retrieval process can take 30 to 45 days per round of records. Avoiding a second or third round of record retrieval saves months of work and reduces client frustration.
It typically takes a few hundred cases to find the right balance for most torts. Once you have the right medical records the real work begins. The value of any claim comes down to thoroughly reviewing medical records and building a rock-solid chronology to support proof of use and proof of injury. Typically, mass tort claims are evaluated based on the severity of damages and categorized with similarly situated claimants along the matrix. The medical record review process is the key to maximizing the value of your client’s claims. This is no place to cut corners. At Case Works, our goal is to get clients into the highest paying bucket based on an exhaustive review of medical records.
5. Communicate Often and with Empathy
At Case Works, we train our client-facing teams on empathic listening because we believe it is powerful. Many clients are going through some of their worst days and want to feel heard and valued. Empathic listening costs almost nothing but yields tremendous value. Great customer service starts with engagement and often ends with another valuable benefit: referrals.
6. Focus on the Plaintiff Fact Sheet
Here again, starting with the end in mind will make the process easier. Our team begins to compile key information for the PFS during the very first contact with a new client. All along the way, our questions are targeted to gather the information we will need later in the case development process. When you own the entire process from end to end, you can strategically build a checklist of what information is needed and start collecting at the beginning. That way, when it comes time to conquer the dreaded PFS, we are already halfway done.
Once the Plaintiff Fact Sheet is wrapped up, we move on to drafting the short-form complaint. Most mass tort MDLs will use a short-form complaint to make the filing process more efficient. Our team of seasoned paralegals drafts the short-form complaint with the required client information then uploads all necessary documents to the filing portal with the MDL.
7. Keep Clients on the Horse with Customer Re-Engagement
There are many reasons why clients go MIA. Some relocate, others change cell phone numbers or migrate to a new email account. Tragically, some clients pass away and leave the firm with no contact information for next-of-kin. This is another reason why it is so important to communicate regularly throughout the litigation process. Every single client outreach should include validation of contact information and a reminder to call the law firm if contact information changes. Another best practice is to get as many backup contacts as you can.
The Case Works Difference
At Case Works, our people make the difference. We pride ourselves in hiring and training top-quality people who deliver exceptional results for our law firm clients. We engrain an ownership mentality so that when problems arise, we bring solutions rather than kicking them back to the firm to solve.
We are proud to be the only vendor who does it all. Literally, we handle every step of the process from the time a client signs the retainer until the case is filed with the MDL. Just like you, our mission is to help those who have been injured by corporate negligence. Most of the time, when people reach out to hire a lawyer something has gone terribly wrong. We want to be there for your clients during their time of need to bring hope and bridge the gap between the time of injury and the moment justice is served.