When considering a demand letter technology, you must ask yourself "Does it help our law firm achieve better outcomes for our clients?" Another important question is "Does it improve efficiency?"
Other companies (notably a company called EvenUp) are now advertising demand letter programs that claim to be based on AI or Machine Learning. They claim to be "The Leader in Demand Packages and Demand Assessment Reports in Personal Injury." An interesting claim.
Even if the claim about the company having an AI Demand letter platform is true, it appears that you do not have direct access to that program, or achieve immediate results after you enter your client data.
If you read the ads closely, you will realize this is not an AI platform accessible to lawyers or their staff directly for creating demand letters. In an explanation for a recent ad it notes "We intake all records and documents and deliver a complete and reliable demand package including a principled request for damages..." So, in short this is a service that takes your client information and creates a demand letter for you. It sends their work back to you once it is completed.
You are sending in your files for someone else to do the work - something the founders of Settlement Intelligence already did with Auto Claim Experts in 2010. The problem is, you are relying upon other people to know your case better than you, or that they have more experience and expertise than you do. (This includes: experience practicing law in your state and having an understanding of statutes, case law and pattern jury instructions; or having the necessary medical knowledge to fully discuss the injuries and their long term consequence.) While it might be quick to send your records to someone else, it still takes them time to write the demand letter for you. As more firms use that service, it takes longer to get the demand letter back. We know because the owners of Settlement Intelligence dealt with that logistical issue for many years, starting twelve years ago. We used a team of doctors, lawyers, paralegals, nurses to do our work. We regularly consulted with former claims adjustors and supervisors to fine tune our process to ensure maximum outcomes for our clients. Ultimately, the challenge with that business model is too much business, resulting in long delays in doing the work correctly for law firms.
It is also clear that an AI platform is not writing the content of the demand letter itself. So, who is writing EvenUpLaw's demand letters?
In a recent social media ad they note:
So the answer is, if you use EvenUpLaw, your demands will be written by defense counsel, economists and technologists.
Want to know who they tried to hire? The owners of Settlement Intelligence. Why? Because we actually are the leading authorities on demand letters and have published and lectured on the demand letter process for over twenty years. What is our background? Settlement Intelligence co-owner Aaron DeShaw's book Colossus: What Every Trial Lawyer Needs to Know - researched and written between 2001 and 2004 (Trial Guides) is the authoritative text on insurance claims software. The other owner of Settlement Intelligence is Charlette Sinclair, the leading legal consultant in the United States on the topic of demand letters. DeShaw and Sinclair are the former co-owners of Auto Claim Experts a consulting and service company that wrote demand letters for law firms throughout the United States starting in 2010. DeShaw's first book and lectures on Colossus were first published in 2002, nearly 20 years before EvenUp started. Auto Claim Experts was creating demand letters based on DeShaw's methodology for over 10 years before EvenUp offered demand letter writing services.
The owners of Settlement Intelligence have published on the demand letter topic in many state and national TLA journals, and have lectured on demand letters in nearly every state in the US since 2001 for leading legal organizations including AAJ / ATLA, the National Trial Lawyers, Trial Guides, Mass Torts Made Perfect, the Brain Injury Association of California MedLegal Conference, 360 Advocacy, and many state and county trial lawyer associations. DeShaw's webinar lecture on demand letters for BIACAL during COVID-19 was one of its most watched, with approximately 6,000 live participants and over 10,000 total views.
Settlement Intelligence co-founder DeShaw is already considered one of the most influential plaintiff lawyers in the United States through his legal publishing company Trial Guides; "Trial Guides and its founder, Aaron DeShaw, have armed, honed, and inspired more plaintiff's attorneys than anything else this century." - Leading trial consultant David Ball Ph.D., author of the landmark legal books David Ball on Damages, Reptile, and Damages Evolving. DeShaw has been listed repeatedly in SuperLawyers, is an ABOTA Board member, and recipient of the Oregon Trial Lawyer Association's Presidential Award for lifetime achievement in the legal profession, and has obtained multiple million dollar trial verdicts including a jury verdict for $77,523,748. By contrast, EvenUp is run by a defense lawyer.
Our competitors do have experience in the field of computer programming and / or litigation funding. The problem is that according to EvenUp's own marketing, the people writing the demands are not doctors, they are usually not plaintiff lawyers, they are not bodily injury software experts, and they do not have decades of high level experience in the field of demand letters.
Without the key background necessary, the result are demand letters that fail to address the fundamental issues in most personal injury cases - the injuries and the non-economic damages. They provide you features that sound great, but don't really help you in the majority of your cases.
Once this blog was initially published, their marketing changed to addressing Colossus instead of the economic damage analysis.
Immediate Results to Data Entry
Demand letter services can have value, particularly when a consultant with significant experience is giving the lawyer feedback about things that are missing in your case. But, what they cannot provide is immediate results. This is a clear difference between an AI platform that is directly accessible to your lawyers and staff like Settlement Intelligence, and an outside vendor like our prior company Auto Claim Experts, or presently EvenUpLaw.
With Settlement Intelligence you license direct access to our platform. The lawyers or staff at your office enter data about your claim directly into the system. As you enter data, the technology alters the format of the demand letter based on insurer, and alters the questions in response to your answers. The only way a company could create such a system is to have deep knowledge of bodily injury software programs like Colossus, Liability Navigator, and ClaimIQ that the insurers are using to evaluate your claims. We have that level of experience, having direct access to the software manuals, insurance claim manuals, software training manuals (or videos), access to insiders, and non-protected discovery regarding these software systems.
Everything we do is based upon all information known about these systems going back to the original Colossus programmer and internal meeting notes from Australia through the past 21 years studying this issue and all of the developments, and our use of this method for over 20 years on thousands of cases.
The vast majority of personal injury cases are not complex. For smaller personal injury cases the entire data entry process will take 20-40 minutes. Data entry time decreases substantially with use of the program. More complex cases will take longer because as you enter more data, Settlement Intelligence instantly poses additional questions that will provide additional claim value. We will explain how this works in future blog posts.
After completing the final question, the demand letter is generated and you can download it immediately.
If you would like higher settlement offers and get the results immediately, license Settlement Intelligence today.