Critical Claims Litigation Metrics that Help Improve Case Outcomes
Using structured data to mitigate litigation costs
The future of claims litigation management is rooted in outcome-driven decisions, made possible by copious amounts of structured data and litigation metrics. It represents a stark contrast from the current state in which claims organizations attempt to mitigate litigation costs through the exclusive use of e-billing software and invoice reduction.
That’s not to say that e-billing software doesn’t have its merits or provide access to data points. Claims leaders can certainly mine for details around how long cases have been open and the average legal fees related to different case types—but an exclusive focus on legal fees is too narrow, too restrictive.
Think of it this way, total litigation expenditures come in the form of indemnity payments. Carefully managing the expense side is obviously important, but real change happens when outcomes are improved.
So how to claims leaders improve case outcomes and reduce indemnity payments? Let’s dive into some critical claims litigation metrics organizations need to focus on in order to improve case outcomes.
Claims Litigation Metrics That Matter
Historical and trending payment levels
This data includes the type of case, who the attorney was, and the attorney’s total fees involved. These are foundational data elements and while these metrics on their own are helpful, they do not paint a clear enough picture. Without other critical metrics, claims leaders are unable to gain truly actionable insights. Payment levels and attorney fees may show you legal costs are rising, but it will never tell a claims leader why. It yields little insight into which litigation management tools were used to control, manage, and affect outcomes.
Impact of certain venues
As you know, case outcomes can differ greatly by venue. Is the venue in Federal or State Court? In which County? Jury and bench awards and the posture of plaintiff counsel differ by venue. Use of this simple data enables improved outcome prediction, better expectations around case timing, and more effective resolution strategies.
Characteristics of specific plaintiff attorneys
Another significant data point that speaks to case outcome is the identity of the plaintiff counsel. Even rudimentary analysis of outcomes with specific plaintiff counsel reveals which plaintiff attorneys are winning most frequently, securing the largest awards, and in which venues and on which types of cases.
This information yields tremendous predictive value and can also inform defense counsel and the claims professional which strategies specific plaintiff attorneys tend to use. Armed with this information, the defense team can be more effective when it comes to the timing of offers, the timing of taking the plaintiffs deposition, the use of experts, and so on.
Tendencies of certain judges
In the same way that venue and plaintiff attorney claims litigation metrics can inform a claims organization’s strategy, so, too, can the tendencies of certain judges.
A better understanding of an individual judge’s inclinations can determine how best to proceed through the litigation. Is this Judge favorable to dispositive motions? To changes of venue? To expert witness qualification? Knowing how judges have ruled in other cases can lead to better case outcomes.
Efficacy of mediators
Up until now, everything we’ve talked about has been monitoring decisions and outcomes that are largely outside of the business’s control. Despite the fact that mediation tends to be faster and less expensive, claims leaders may find that a disproportionate number of cases using a specific mediator doesn’t move the case forward.
The actual effectiveness of mediators, whether it is a subjective or objective performance metric, is only rarely measured by claims organizations or law firms. Everyone knows anecdotally who they like and who they don’t, but are these mediator selections sound? This claim litigation metric helps organizations answer that question definitively. In what percentage of cases does a mediator settle cases at the mediation? Or within 30 days of the mediation? On what types of claims?
Effectiveness of litigation management strategies
Defense counsel and claims professionals have commonly used strategies and tools available to them for their litigated files. Tracking the use of these on a per-case-basis can be enormously helpful in determining which tools are most effective, and when. Here are three simple examples:
- Dispositive and change of venue motions – How often are these successful? In what venues? In front of which judges? With which defense counsel?
- Statutory Offers – How often are these successful in moving cases along? With which plaintiff counsel?
- Use of Experts – Which experts seem to be most effective? On which issues? In which types of cases?
These are just three examples among many others. By tracking and structuring the data received from counsel, claims organizations can achieve new insights into how cases are being managed and defended – not just what they cost.
Predicting case exposures
The best claims organizations do everything in their power to both prepare for a case and predict the appropriate case exposure. Perhaps no claims function is more important than accurate exposure prediction. Claims executive successes can rise and fall on the accuracy of reserves.
Using structured data to access these critical claims metrics will play a strong role in providing claims professionals with the information they need to strengthen the accuracy of their predictions. A more comprehensive and collaborative approach that structures this data, produces the metrics and insights needed to reduce total case outcome.
How to Obtain These Claims Litigation Metrics
Access to these data points is simply not available in claims systems. E-billing platforms offer only the metrics obtained via the invoice provided long after the case is settled. This provides you little insight into case trends and certainly no way to improve case outcomes.
The only true way to gain insight to improve outcomes is through a litigation management software solution. Built to integrate with your current claims tech stack, this platform provides highly customized reporting to help you make better, more informed decisions. By capturing critical data points, claims leaders can better manage their litigated cases.
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