KEY CASE INTERVAL REVIEWS
We all understand that there are a number of possible unexpected or unknown circumstances and facts that shape any case management strategy. If these facts are reviewed for and monitored at certain intervals in the file life, it will maximize the client’s overall recovery and reduce the time necessary for the file to reach a resolution. This responsibility falls on the supervisors, attorneys, and the rest of the legal team throughout the life of the case.
Identifying the full and complete facts regarding liability, coverage, and the extent of your client’s injuries is critical in making proper and helpful claims evaluations. Only then, can you truly offer your most competent advice for the client to make an informed decision about their health and the law firm’s role in their recovery.
As discussed in an earlier blog, the case grading and ranking process is especially important so as not to expend unnecessary firm resources on cases that are ready for a different path to a conclusion. In contrast, identifying a potential way to increase a client’s recovery through effective case and medical information management at an early point in the claim can be the difference in a missed opportunity and identifying a potential top case in your firm. By identifying otherwise unnoticed or loosely investigated claim facts with key case dates and interval reviews, your law firm will be better prepared to maximize your client’s recovery.
WHERE TO START?:
30 Day Supervisor File Reviews: A key case interval point is at the 30-day mark. This marks 30 days from the date the file is opened and a review of the file is conducted with the handling attorney, case manager, paralegals, or others, as well as someone with supervisory capacity, whether the managing attorney or other supervisor. The first 30 days during the life of the case is the most critical time to gather and investigate case information. These facts inform and confirm initial information regarding liability, coverage, and injuries. After 30 days from a new client entering the firm, the designated supervisor should review whether any information necessary to move the case forward has been requested, has been received, and whether the information has been documented correctly. The 30-day review should cover the basic elements of your case and look to capture ways to move the client’s claim forward.
Example Note topic: (30 day Supervisor File Review)
*Denotes an action item or task to be performed
Liability: The report has been requested and is pending approval with state police. Client’s facts and photographs support her events, seems clear.
*(Case manager) to follow up on report.
Coverage: Unknown for the at fault party, but the client believes she has 1st party coverage.
*(Case manager) to follow up on the insurance declaration’s page.
Injuries and Treatment: Client is treating for neck and back complaints on her health insurance. Conservative care only so far. Headaches are over.
*(Attorney) to call client as see if she’s better or has any other complaints.
Economic Damages: The client had significant emergent treatment, so we expect a large medical expense. Client has also been out of work for 2 weeks.
*(Case Manager) to request wage documents from client and HR dept.
*(Case Manager) to request medical records when confirm coverage.
Non-Economic Damages: Client’s back pain has prevented her from sitting and watching her daughter’s gymnastics meets.
*Let’s all keep this in mind during our conversations with her
90 Day Supervisory File Reviews: This is the initial case interval where the firm is deciding whether to commit fully to the claim and the correct follow through, so it’s critical to have the information necessary to make that decision by this point. That being said, the substance of a supervisor file review performed after 90 days of the open date does not materially change. The review will still encompass the main elements of proof in the case. However, at this point in the life of the file, there should be sufficient information regarding each element of the case that it can be properly identified as either on the road to a result or a file needing more attention to serve the client’s best interests.
This is where an effective case grading system can be best applied. Case grading in conjunction with 90-day supervisor file reviews will allow your firm to direct each file to the proper team members where warranted, or otherwise disengage from the file if necessary. In any event, there is more information to make a more calculated and informed recommendation for your client and decrease your file’s time on desk.
90-day supervisor file reviews are recommended throughout the life of the case. Identifying and starting a client’s file on the right path is the first goal, but the continuation of periodic 90-day supervisor file reviews can ensure it stays on the right path. The law firm’s job and goal to move the file forward can only happen when it’s known what steps need to occur for that to happen.
The Xcelerator Team can devote hours to speaking about the specifics regarding supervisor file reviews alone, having implemented the process in firms nationally. Through that experience, it’s clear that all productive methods of file reviews will not completely mirror each other from firm to firm, nor should they, but the principle and intent is nonetheless the same: “How do we ensure that these files have been reviewed and acted upon in the most effective way?”
Please feel free to contact our Xcelerator Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or inquiries on what we can do for your firm.