Best Practices for Liability Negotiations

Structured settlements provide a proven and effective way to quantify claim costs, evaluate reserves, deconstruct demands, design creative settlement offers and bridge the gaps in negotiations. They offer a wide array of advantages to all the parties with no additional cost to the claim file. When strategically used early in the process for evaluation and education—and consistently presented throughout the negotiations—structures are valuable analytical tools that help settle cases sooner and save claim dollar payouts.

How does early collaboration make a difference? When we are part of the team, we can help you and counsel shape the initial offer or response to a demand that optimizes the value of every settlement dollar. As you know, the first time money is mentioned is the last time you get to set the framework of the negotiation.  We can help you stage and price a series of initial and fallback positions. Leveraging the full value of a structure is never more powerful—for either side—than when it is a condition of the offer or demand.

As members of your team, can also advance negotiations with quick, creative and responsive solutions that easily meet a number or a need by financing it. In fact, we introduce concepts to the other party, seek feedback and design the most comprehensive, customized proposals during settlement discussions and mediations. In other words, the security, flexibility and certainty of structures not only overcome gaps in the financials, but also create a rich and compelling post-settlement plan for the plaintiff.   

As we continue to define what best practices mean for industry, Chronovo has identified the types of claims that are prime candidates for the early, strategic use of structures. They include:

Life Care Plans

Plaintiff and/or defense plans should have annuity pricing for present value market analysis. The use of rated ages can also significantly reduce the cost, or increase the value, of future medical and economic benefits.

Economic Loss Reports

The loss of future income can be a major factor in catastrophic and permanent injury claims. Plaintiff and/or defense economic loss reports should have annuity pricing for present value market and benefit analysis.

Catastrophic Injury Cases

TBI, Para, Quad, or any cases with permanent injuries and/or significant future medical expenses will benefit from a structured settlement analysis. Rated ages should be secured from Chronovo to evaluate life expectancy and secure accurate pricing.

Liability Medicare Set-Aside Reports (LMSA)

Any case with an LMSA report should be sent to Chronovo for evaluation and pricing. Like Workers’ Compensation MSAs, these reports need to be analyzed according to current and evolving CMS guidelines.

Cases Reserved Over $1 Million

Cases at or above this threshold can typically offer significant future benefits matched to needs, create flexible and attractive proposals and assist the defense in bridging the gaps during negotiation.

Cases Involving a Minor or Incapacitated Person

Structures are a court-approved option for any situation where funds need to be restricted or otherwise segregated due to the age or capacity of the claimant. Virtually any case with these criteria, regardless of size, should utilize a structured settlement for evaluations, negotiations and settlement.

Cases Involving Special Needs, Management, or Fiduciary Trusts

Cases where any variety of settlement trust is being explored should include the ongoing design of payments into the trust, with appropriate approved reversionary and post-settlement documentation language.

Cases with Difficult Fact Patterns or Liability

Using ChronovoCare™ to seek discounted pricing on prescriptions, medical equipment, attendant care and future surgeries can help clarify settlement discussions and bring down the real cost of demands. Our new medical savings program can also be used as a good faith gesture to provide claimants with a means of reducing their out-of-pocket expenses, not to mention providing some peace of mind while cases move through the courts and the settlement process.

We invite you to reach out to our Complex Claims Group for more information.