Discover how Verus’ comprehensive data analytics services can deliver your plaintiff law firm powerful settlement negotiation leverage for mass torts and other complex litigation. Defendants often have the upper hand in settlement negotiations. Well-funded corporations, along with their insurers and highly paid corporate law firms with armies of attorneys, can leverage resources in ways that give them an information advantage over plaintiffs’ firms regarding the value of mass tort claims and what similar claims have and/or should settle for.
But knowledge is power. Plaintiffs’ firms can level the settlement negotiations playing field by arming themselves with data.
Data Analytics as a settlement negotiations tool
When plaintiffs’ attorneys, starting in the early days of a litigation, assemble and analyze granular data about their claimants, they put themselves in a considerably better position from which to negotiate a settlement. They’ll know the strength of their clients’ claims and the ballpark of potential damages because they’ll be dealing in facts and not in speculation. They’ll have no reason to bluff or play games and, as a result, will be seen as reasonable and credible by defense firms, other plaintiffs’ firms, insurers, and judges who will give their settlement proposals more weight and validity.
(On a related note, when a plaintiffs’ firm seeks litigation funding, this same data can reduce the risk that funders are exposed to. When given access to this data, funders will take more comfort knowing what a firm’s claims portfolio looks like. This increased comfort often leads to lower costs of borrowing for firms engaged in mass tort litigation.)
What data should firms be collecting ahead of settlement negotiations?
So what data should plaintiffs’ firms be collecting and analyzing to improve their settlement negotiating power? Generally, firms should be looking at four categories of data.
First, there are the general valuation factors, such as clients’ age range, how long they’ve lived with their injuries, the nature and duration of exposure to the harm, and their lost income. This information (and any other quantifiable factors that impact the strength and value of their clients’ claims) is fundamental to firms’ framing of their clients’ claims and their approach to settlement.
Second, there are the injury tiers firms’ clients fit into. Firms properly harnessing their data will know at a glance which of their clients’ claims should fall within a higher settlement range, and, conversely, which of their clients’ claims are of a lower value.
Third, there’s geography. Are any claimants in states where insurance plans might not cover certain out-of-state claims? If there are, that could impact the settlement value of a firm’s claims.
Fourth, there are the liens. How many clients have Medicare liens or other types of liens? Are the liens of a type or number that impact settlement negotiations?
Of course, the potential data to be collected from thousands of claimants is nearly limitless. Determining what data is pertinent, valuable, and readily collectible while also determining how best to distill all that data into persuasive leverage can be overwhelming.
Speaking with litigation support service providers and expert witnesses in the early days of complex litigation about the kinds of data to collect and how to analyze it can ease headaches down the road and optimize settlement values.
Interested in learning more about how data analytics can help your settlement efforts? Email us at email@example.com or call us at 888.681.1129 to arrange an initial consultation.