Perhaps your law firm had been considering engaging a third-party services provider—and then the COVID-19 crisis hit. Many firms have furloughed or terminated staff, have teams working remotely, and are struggling to figure out how to make the new normal as efficient as possible. While the nation deals with the challenges around the coronavirus, finding alternatives to support your firm and looking out for your clients’ best interests are still everyone’s goals. At the heart of the matter is your firm’s cash flow—keeping it as healthy as possible by keeping the workflow and processes on track.
Here are four key reasons why litigation support services providers can help keep mass tort attorneys and their cases on track during these challenging times.
- Enhance claimant communications
Claimants are home, possibly anxious, and are reaching out to their attorneys about the status of their cases. When firms are shorthanded, timely responses or proactive communication can be difficult but remain a priority. A third-party provider can relieve the burden by facilitating important claimant communication: developing the responses about the case status and delivering regular updates through direct mail, email or video. This helps mass tort law firms be responsive rather than reactive. An outsourced service provider can also perform case assessments to find out when litigation was last reviewed to help attorneys meet their obligations regarding notifications about substantive changes that may have arisen since the last communication.
- Keep claimant pipeline moving
An outsourced services provider can perform the same administrative work that intake specialists would typically handle, but with the unique advantage of identifying case trends across numerous inventories early on and making changes with your input on the fly. Many mass tort firms find that their claimant intake process requires less effort when a services provider is supporting them, whether on specific litigation or across the whole firm. With that support, firms can take on more cases without having to hire staff each time a litigation begins to pick up while maintaining maintain positive cash flow each month.
- Medical record management
A litigation support services provider will often be the best resource to assist with the medical record acquisition process for claimants as they can use economies of scale across all clients to reduce per record cost, while offering total transparency and control over the record collection process. During this pandemic, it is even more important to monitor effective use of firm resources. Besides, this process can be tedious for some law firm staff who are looking to work on more substantive aspects of the litigation. Outsourcing this process will enable them to take on other firm projects now necessary during COVID-19.
- Analytics to inform cash flow and business decisions
Law firms are short staffed now, but will they be financially ready when the COVID-19 crisis is over? Now is the time to assess which cases are in the pipeline today in order to make informed decisions about the financial health of the firm. Data analytics around case inventory, tied to expected cash flow and financial projections, provides essential business intelligence. Ask your support services provider about viability projections that will help the managing partners make smart decisions about:
- Whether a short-term business loan is necessary to maintain operations
- How the operation’s long-range footprint and expenses align with projected income
- Settlement negotiations. In the current environment, there may be defendants who are overly aggressive, seeking to settle right now due to financial constraints and the desire to get rid of liabilities on their balance sheets. Having the right data, supplied by a litigation support services provider, will enable mass tort attorneys to better negotiate from an informed perspective and work toward the best deal for the firm and their claimant pool.
With tight staffing levels and cases that still need effective management, outsourcing administrative and case management services will enable mass tort firms to keep the litigation moving and relieves the pressure on the operation through technology, diverse expertise, and agile scalability. To discuss your firm’s support needs—in these COVID-19 days or the future—contact Verus at email@example.com or fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.