How the Insurer Sees It

By on December 1, 2015

Thomas F. Lysaught, Hickey Smith LLP

Proactive claim and litigation management strategies are essential to improving an insurer’s performance. Most sophisticated insurers and self-insured entities develop strategies specifically designed to expedite the fair resolution of their claims, although those strategies will not always be successful. In many instances, a lawsuit is the first notice that an insurer receives of the claim. In any event, when a lawsuit is filed, outside counsel becomes a key partner in executing the client’s proactive litigation management strategies.

Maximizing the success of a proactive litigation management strategy requires that outside counsel and in-house claims professional or general counsel are in alignment when it comes to business strategies, resolution objectives and economic interests.

The first step in proactively managing litigation is early case assessment. Before a case can be properly evaluated, the critical information required to determine the extent of the client’s liability, any possible liability defenses, and the realistic range of damages must be obtained. Assuming liability is established at least to some degree, the next step is to evaluate the case, determine a fair settlement value and consider a realistic settlement offer. Experience tells us that the first offer tends to frame the negotiation.

Outside counsel is a key partner in effectively executing a client’s proactive litigation management strategy. In this role, defense counsel not only demonstrates alignment with the client’s business strategies and specific case resolution objectives, but also with the economic interests of the client.

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