When people seek legal representation, they typically do so with a belief that the case outcome will match their expectation. They are unshakable in their perceptions, and they cannot imagine how any court would see the case differently. As a result, managing expectations is something that every good attorney must do. After all, every case can’t be a winning case and every winning case can’t result in a huge windfall.
The importance of managing expectations is especially true when handling mass tort claims. The vast amount of marketing and media attention that these cases sometimes receive can contribute to a false narrative that every claimant will walk away with an immediate and huge windfall of cash. In reality, these cases can take years to reach a conclusion, and a payday is never guaranteed.
Mass tort attorneys have a responsibility to manage expectations and keep mass tort claimants informed throughout every step of the case. The best strategy is a strong beginning, and managing expectations can start with the legal client intake process.
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The Mass Tort Expectations
Some common misconceptions exist among prospects when considering their participation in a mass tort legal claim. For instance, many expect to receive an instant financial award upon filing a claim. This often stems from the wording used in mass tort marketing campaigns, as some firms make it seem as though payouts happen immediately.
Another common belief is that signing up will be the totality of their contribution to the case. These mass tort claimants may not be prepared or willing to obtain necessary medical records, provide additional information along the way, or to deliver regular updates as the case progresses.
These are the expectations that mass tort law firms face with each new prospect that initiates contact. In addition, claimants with serious injuries may be dealing with ongoing medical treatments or financial struggles that further heighten their expectations.
Maximize the Legal Client Intake Process
The mass tort client intake process offers the best tools for managing expectations. From the beginning of your marketing campaign to the conversion of leads into claimants, legal client intake offers numerous opportunities to shape realistic expectations and keep claimants updated about their mass tort claim. Consider these intake phases:
- The Mass Tort Marketing Campaign: This is a law firm’s first opportunity to set client expectations in a reasonable manner. It may be tempting to throw out large settlement amounts but be mindful of the language and qualifications used by your firm.
- Lead Qualification: This step of the legal client intake process is vital for separating viable leads from people who see the case as a quick and easy payday. With exploratory questions, your firm can provide the proper guidance towards reasonable expectations.
- Lead Nurturing: Whether you are using an email drip campaign or automated follow ups to nurture viable leads, make sure the content and language advances reasonable expectations.
- Conversion: Even at the point of converting a lead into an actual claimant, it is beneficial to discuss expectations in a detailed way. The initial engagement meeting provides as opportune time to have an in-depth discussion about payouts, timing, and your firm’s expectations of the claimant.
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Why Managing Expectations Matters
The unique nature of mass tort marketing can result grander client expectations than other types of legal injury cases. Being honest and upfront about unrealistic expectations is the best way to build client relations and earn their trust in your law firm. So, it’s extremely important to educate claimants about the potential roadblocks between their initial claim and their expected payout, including:
- Small Payouts – Even in successful mass tort cases, the actual payout to an individual claimant may be substantially smaller than their expectation. For example, in one acid-reflux medication mass tort claim, less than one percent of plaintiffs received an actual financial payout.
- Appeal – An appeal is another possible roadblock to a mass tort claimant payout. In a widely publicized weed killer mass tort case, over two billion dollars were awarded to numerous plaintiffs, yet when one verdict was appealed, the payout in that claim was delayed until the appeal process was completed.
- Bankruptcy – As exemplified in one talcum powder mass tort case, bankruptcy can also impede claimant payout. In some cases, the responsible corporations may even transfer injury liabilities to newly created companies for the purpose of protecting their assets from large payouts.
Legal CRM Helps Your Firm Manage Mass Tort Claimant Expectations
Client Relationship Management (CRM) for law firms is your instrument for managing unrealistic mass tort claimant expectations. With multiple client intake, task automation, and communication features, technology like Law Ruler CRM software helps your firm keep mass tort claimants clearly informed from the beginning. Click here to learn more about the numerous ways that Law Ruler benefits your mass tort law practice.
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