Personal Injury Demand Letter AI
Personal Injury Demand Letter AI
If you are considering an automated personal injury demand letter AI program, the first thing your law firm should be considering "Who created this demand letter method?" Is it a legal funding company? Is it a technology company that has little or no background in personal injury law or demand letters? Or is it a team of experts - doctors, lawyers and demand letter consultants with decades of experience in the field of personal injury demand letters?
Settlement Intelligence is a combined effort of leading demand letter author and lecturer Dr. Aaron DeShaw, Esq., and the nation's leading demand letter consultant Charlette Sinclair. Their extensive background in traumatic injuries, personal injury law, insurance claims practices, bodily injury insurance claim software, and demand letters is important to why Settlement Intelligence is the only choice for personal injury demand automation.
Our Expertise in Demand Letters
From 2001 to 2004 DeShaw (by then a retired doctor, turned trial lawyer) researched the Colossus insurance claims program used by the majority of the auto insurers in the United States as well as in Australia, Europe and Asia. During the three years of research, he additionally researched Claim Outcome Advisor (now named Liability Navigator) including interviewing the person in charge of that product at ISO, and InjuryIQ (now named ClaimIQ and owned by Mitchell International). Through thousands of hours of research over three years, including getting original programming notes from Australia on the Colossus program and unprotected claims manuals and unprotected Colossus manuals, DeShaw wrote two books on bodily injury claim software and another book on medical bill review software, most notably the 500+ page book Colossus: What Every Trial Lawyer Needs to Know. This book laid out every known factor provided value by insurers to evaluate personal injury claims. His research, books and lectures serve as the basis for most of what is now known about the Colossus program, Liability Navigator and ClaimIQ.
In response to the information he learned through his research, DeShaw developed a demand letter format for lawyers that provides insurance adjustors the claim factors they need to enter into the programs, in the order they need it, to trigger maximum settlement values. DeShaw also created claim forms for the hundreds of factors and sub-factors for "Duties Under Duress" and "Loss of Enjoyment of Life" claims from the unprotected documents he obtained in his research. These forms have been used to collect claim information by thousands of doctors and lawyers since they were released in 2004. As a result of these Colossus books and forms, DeShaw started the leading litigation publisher, Trial Guides, which he has run since 2001 in addition to practicing law. In this role, DeShaw has published the leading litigation books of the past two decades including Rules of the Road, David Ball on Damages 3, From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves, Don't Eat the Bruises, Damages Evolving, and many more. From 2005 to 2010, DeShaw then served as a consultant in the national Colossus class action case Sikes v. Farmers Insurance, and co-counsel on the national class action case against the owners of the three bodily injury software programs and over 580 insurance companies for the underpayment of policyholder claims using bodily injury claim software in Hensley v. CSC.
DeShaw is one of few lawyers in the US to lecture on the topic of demand letters since 2001, and has lectured to well over 10,000 lawyers and paralegals through Trial Guides, ATLA / AAJ, the Brain Injury Association of California, the National Trial Lawyer's Association, 360 Advocacy, Torts Made Perfect, and many state Trial Lawyer Associations. In addition to books and lectures on his demand letter writing methods, he provides lectures on writing specialty demand letters in spinal injury and traumatic brain injury cases. Over his career he has directly and with co-counsel, obtained over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for his clients, and multiple million dollar trial verdicts including a jury verdict for $77,523,748.
In 2010, DeShaw started Auto Claim Experts with Charlette Sinclair. Auto Claim Experts worked with doctors, lawyers, paralegals, and litigation nurse consultants to create demand letters for attorneys using methods developed by DeShaw, based on Sinclair's training. Sinclair oversaw the operation of the company, handling and supervising demand letters in thousands of personal injury claims for law firms throughout the United States. Sinclair also consulted on pre-litigation methods for individual law firm clients to improve their settlement outcomes.
In 2012, DeShaw sold his interest in Auto Claim Experts to Sinclair and she continued to operate the company for many years, creating the framework for automating the demand letter process until 2019. During her decade working focused on demand letters, she learned important additional information about Claim Outcome Advisor / Liability Navigator including obtaining an unprotected training manual. She pioneered the idea of customizing the demand letter format based upon the insurer it would be sent to, and the software they would be using. She also worked as a consultant with High Impact, providing graphics to her customers for large scale litigation cases for demand letters, ADR and trial.
Since that time Sinclair has worked on decision engine and Artificial Intelligence programs for a Fortune 100 company, and the leading Medical AI company in the world. During her time in the personal injury field, Sinclair became the leading demand letter consultant in the country including national lectures for Trial Guides, 360 Advocacy, Mass Torts Made Perfect and several state Trial Lawyer Associations. She personally performed and oversaw thousands of demand letters for a wide range of law firms including everything from minor impact and small premises liability cases to catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, and trucking litigation cases.
Settlement Intelligence takes this extensive information about traumatic injuries, bodily injury claim software, medical bill review software, personal injury demand letters, and Artificial Intelligence to create the industry leading demand letter platform.
Why are our Demand Letters different?
The second thing your law firm should be considering when considering a demand letter technology is "Does it help us achieve better outcomes for our clients?" or "Does it improve efficiency?"
Other companies are now advertising demand letter programs that claim to be based on AI or Machine Learning. If you look closely, this is not an AI platform for doing demand letters at all. You are sending in your files for someone else to do the work - something we 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 any experience practicing law in your state, or have doctors evaluating the injuries. 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.
These companies do have experience in the field of computer programming and / or litigation funding. The problem is they are not doctors, they are not lawyers, they are not bodily injury software authorities, and they do not have decades of high level experience in the field of demand letters. [In fact, one of these companies attempted to work with Sinclair and DeShaw to create their system (without success.)]
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.
Jury Verdicts with Similar Injuries
It sounds great to estimate the non-economic damages in your case using similar injuries from jury verdict data. But there are a fundamental problems with this approach that as experts in this field we know are fatal to the credibility of these demand letters.
Jury verdicts for similar injuries mean very little. In fact, as trial legend and Inner Circle member Paul Luvera says "don't ever determine what the value of a case is by other lawyer's verdicts." Beyond the fact every lawyer is different, and every client is different, we know the reason why jury verdicts won't work in your demand letters. Apparently other demand letter companies do not. It comes down to your ranking with the insurer based on either your history with them (kept in their own computer systems attached to your federal tax ID number), or you are ranked based upon your verdicts and your motion outcomes compiled through a new AI technology called Premonition and then integrated with Colossus and Liability Navigator. So, as an example if a trial great like Rick Friedman, Brian Panish, Mark Lanier or Nick Rowley gets a great jury verdict do you really think an insurer is going to pay the same amount to a new lawyer that settles every case? The answer is no. But, that is the data used to determine most likely non-economic damages in competing programs. Compiled jury verdict data does not distinguish your quality as a lawyer from the lawyers who obtained those jury verdicts. And unless you are one of those lawyers with a great trial reputation, an adjustor will not take your valuation seriously if you provide a list of jury verdicts that were obtained by better trial lawyers.
The other problem is this; with dramatically declining numbers of tort jury verdicts since 1992 (now amounting to only 0.4% of all tort cases nationwide) it becomes very difficult to determine the present value of injury claims with specific facts in a specific geographical area. As noted above, if you do not go to trial, you will not get the same value on your settlement offers as if you have a reputation for going to trial.
Even if this worked, our decades of experience demonstrate this isn't how insurers evaluate claims. They set values within their bodily injury claim software and then they run the claims through that software. We are even aware they will tell the adjustors that the values are based on past settlements and verdicts, but the people in management that help set these systems up know that is not correct in the case of some of the software. [In fact, our research indicates that for some insurers, every policy limit outcome, arbitration outcome and excess verdict is removed from the "comparable values" thereby reducing the overall value of similar injuries.] The failure to address this reality by other demand letter companies makes their software of very little value if you want to get maximum settlement offers.
Auto-generated Economic Damage Tables
What these other programs can do is project future economic losses based on economic tables in a beautiful format. This is a concept that has been around on the internet since the early 2000s or earlier. The updated version looks great.
It is impressive to have a beautiful looking demand letter that has detailed calculations and big numbers. But ask yourself, what percentage of your cases have viable future diminished earning capacity claims? If you look at all personal injury claims, very few have future diminished earning capacity.
The bigger issue is, do you actually believe an adjustor can enter that information from a legal demand letter without an expert witness report confirming that to "a reasonable economic probability?" Our interviews of former claims adjustors and supervisors suggests that without a report by a qualified expert witness on the numbers, confirmed to a reasonable accounting probability, the data will not be entered. This really applies to everything in your case. It has been clear for over 20 years that attorney allegations without substantiation from a doctor or other expert will not be entered into the claims software and as such will be provided zero value in the settlement offer.
Demand Letters Based on Real Insurance Claim Practices
While Settlement Intelligence certainly allows for entry of past medicals, future medicals, past wage loss and future diminished earning capacity (all supported by your expert reports), our primary focus is the injuries and non-economic / general damages in your case.
We know what information the insurers are looking for, and the order that the computer systems look for that information. Unlike other companies claiming to provide an AI demand letter platform (bur are actually doing your demands manually) with Settlement Intelligence you enter the information from your case and you will have the demand letter immediately upon completion.
At the upper end of our offerings, we tailor the demand letters to the insurer, and the type of claim. In other words a first party uninsured motorist demand to Allstate will be formatted differently than a third party demand to Allstate. A third party demand to American Family will be formatted differently than a third party demand to Farmers, State Farm or GEICO. We have a good idea which insurers are using Colossus, Liability Navigator and ClaimIQ. So when you enter the insurer in the entry data, as well as whether this is a first party or third party claim, the demand letter automatically changes to optimize the resulting demand letter format for that insurer in that type of case.
As you enter data about the claim, your answers trigger new screens to open to collect data that is applicable to that claim based on our extensive data about these programs. This allows you to honestly capture all facts of value in your clients' claims, and then the Settlement Intelligence program will arrange that data in the order that the adjustor needs it within the demand letter.
Like AI, Settlement Intelligence will continue to expand and improve
There are presently four different packages available to law firms, starting with the least expensive version called Starter Plan with basic demand letter formatting for solo lawyers (1 user). If you have more lawyers or staff, or run more demands per month, you can move up to the Advanced Plan for firms with up to 6 users, or the feature-rich unlimited Professional Plan for firms with up to 20 users.
While all packages will improve over time, most of our development focus will be on the advanced Enterprise Plan. Here are things presently being developed, or planned for the future of Settlement Intelligence Enterprise Plan:
- White labeled law firm branded version.
- Integration with the leading client management software programs such as Litify, FileVine and Clio. (Only available for Enterprise customers, and subject to additional integration charges.) This will allow firms to pull data directly from their Client Management System to Settlement Intelligence to pre-format certain client information.
- Special pre-demand letter for "minor impact" cases, intended to move the claim out of the MIST or SIU claims unit back to a claim software evaluation
- Using our deep understanding of traumatic injuries, we are creating content for certain types of injuries that will provide auto-generated narrative text in the demand letter
- Scientific and medical literature footnotes to support your client's injuries.
- Auto generation to tell you when certain injuries suggest a diagnosis that hasn't been entered
- Warning when an AMA Impairment would increase the value of a specific case
- Integration with medical EMR systems nationwide to more efficiently download medical records.
- Further in the future, as we will feed our AI medical literature, to generate custom narrative content within the demand letters to support your injury claims and long term medical and financial consequences of the injuries.
The goals of Settlement Intelligence are clear; We provide lawyers the opportunity to obtain the best settlement offers possible for the facts of your case, in the most efficient way. Our decades of experience in this field suggest this will increase your settlement values, decrease you and your staff's workload, and allow you to take on more cases (if desired.) We have significant experience in this field and have seen our methods create career changing results.
In an era where real-world results, customer reviews and social media feedback are critical to generating new clients, higher settlement offers are your secret weapon against your competition.
Settlement Intelligence is a monthly cloud-based software license. Prices are dependent upon the number of staff members, desired features, and the number of monthly demand letter submissions. Visit our licensing page to start using Settlement Intelligence.