This article regarding automated legal documents for insurance claims defense was originally featured in Carrier Management.
If this article were a legal document, it might sound like this:
HERETOFORE, legal documents proximately cause a grossly adverse impact on insurance companies, which impact may include but not be limited to, said documents cost exorbitant amounts of money, are not usually a contributing cause of a favorable outcome, and result in direct, indirect, and special damages to insurance companies’s abilities to effectively manage their pending lawsuits.
That’s a brutal read, right? If you could decipher the legalese above, you know that legal documents cause problems much larger than grammar. Hidden in that cryptic legalese are the three biggest problems legal documents cause for insurance companies involved in claims litigation:
- They are expensive
- They typically have little to no impact on the pending litigation
- They are impossible for insurance companies to manage
Claims and legal executives at insurance companies can solve these problems more easily than you may think. The solution is legal document automation: a software-based platform that allows the insurance company and the attorneys to transform claim management.
This should be your first step. Legal document automation provides you with an attainable early win if you are looking to bring innovation to your company. Once you succeed here, you will have the momentum needed to continue to push claims and litigation management into the future.
Legal Documents Should Not Be This Difficult
If you handle claims litigation, you know that documents full of the same old legalese are par for the course. No matter the case, you see the same pleadings containing the same content time and again. Nevertheless, your attorneys continue to charge you for each legal document, and you continue to pay for each legal document.
Theoretically, litigation documents should be straightforward. They are based upon state and federal rules of procedure, and thus lawyers cannot draft a legal document unless it is authorized by a procedural code.
If you review any of these procedural codes, you will find that there are not many requirements related to their creation. Typically, the governing code directs a lawyer to draft a pleading that describes (1) the legal standard and (2) the facts that support the lawyer’s position.
So why do insurance companies keep paying attorneys for something that should be simple?
Insurers Pay Attorneys to Do Things the Hard Way
When compared to other professionals, lawyers are like artifacts. While professionals in other industries have used technology to collect their knowledge and ignite their productivity, lawyers lag behind.
Imagine a world where computer programmers approached their job as lawyers do. Rather than uniting to build platforms that leverage the collective knowledge of programmers, imagine if programmers started each program from scratch.
In recent history, computer programmers create software by writing on top of layers and layers of platforms. Today, they don’t type in 0-1-1-0-1-1-1 to create a website. Instead, they have platforms that capture massive amounts of routine scripts and automate their execution. Ask any programmer: without these platforms, the current state of technology would be far different.
Unlike today’s programmers, lawyers have no platform. They are still typing 0s and 1s. The vast majority of lawyers start each document by trying to locate a similar document on their hard drive. Then, rather than let software take care of the customization, lawyers manually fill in the blanks.
Not only is this inefficient, it is risky. When drafting legal documents, lawyers often do not have access information critical to the success of the pleading: For example, is this document correct? Has it been filed before a particular judge and if so, what was the judge’s ruling?
So how can you help your claims and legal departments solve this problem?
Legal Document Innovation Requires Legal Document Automation Platforms
Many of the top insurers use document automation to create their policies. They should not treat their legal departments and outside counsel any differently.
Legal document automation is the ultimate legal innovation platform. Insurers can collect their attorneys’ best work and make that work available to every attorney working for the insurance company, whether internal or external. Additionally, insurers do not have to pay for the same document twice, which can equate to a huge financial saving to the company. Perhaps more important, insurers can use the platform to take control of legal outcomes.
Legal documents are the toolbox of every legal department and insurance defense law firm. If you’re not busy and aren’t trying to profit, go ahead and use a hammer and nail. But if you’re at a company fighting to be a leader, why wouldn’t you use a power drill?
Legal document automation checks all of the boxes for insurance companies looking to improve
- Solves a huge problem
- Has several examples of success
- Pays for itself in saved expenses
- Propels the team’s morale to keep innovating
Legal document assembly is the lowest hanging fruit for insurers. If you are a claims and litigation manager, I encourage you to initiate this process before someone else does. If the other department executives find out what you’ve been paying for all of these years, they’re going to want a refund.
I now BEQUEATH to you the FIDUCIARY DUTY to transform your legal department by using a legal document automation platform. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the party HERETO has AFFIXED his signature. GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY!
While you’re at it, you may want to see what you can do about that legalese, too?