Automation

Automated Personal Injury Claim

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Automation offers many benefits in many aspects of a lawyer’s work. You can automate something basic (like out-of-office e-mail responses), or something more complex (like client intake). Here’s a working example of an automated personal injury claim.

Automation at smartlegal

Here at smartlegal we work on all kinds of automation projects. We’ve automated simple processes (eg. filtering incoming e-mails to the appropriate fee earner based on e-mail content), complex processes (eg. client intake, drafting of court documents), and routine processes (eg. a lawyer’s scheduling of client appointments).

Automating a Legal Process

As an example of what we can do, let’s look at something most lawyers will be able to relate to – a personal injury claim.

In broad terms, a personal injury claim works like this:

  1. Client contacts solicitor about bringing a claim;
  2. Solicitor collects relevant data about claim from client;
  3. Solicitor offers preliminary advice (claim / don’t claim);
  4. Solicitor writes to client enclosing preliminary information, Section 68 letter, advice about time limits, and invitation to arrange consultation;
  5. Solicitor prepares the following: (a) PIAB Form A; (b) Letter(s) to Respondent(s); (c) Client instruction and authority to act; (d) Client letter to PIAB; (e) Solicitor letter to PIAB.
  6. Client attends with solicitor to review and sign documents;
  7. Solicitor sends documentation to PIAB to lodge claim.
Client Meeting

Now, I did say ‘in broad terms’. I know that PIAB now has an online portal where an application can be submitted, so the procedure may vary from lawyer to lawyer (depending on whether they use the portal).

However, the core steps – collecting data from client, offering advice, writing to client, preparing documents for signature and submission – remain pretty much the same.

Identifying non-core tasks

The solicitor’s value-proposition is that, for Steps 3 and 6, he/she will provide personalised and in-person advice and assistance to the client.

The client doesn’t really care (or have a say in) how Steps 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 are completed. Whether they are done by a highly experienced solicitor, a paralegal, an assistant or a robot – the client doesn’t care as long as those steps are completed properly.

So, the non-core tasks are Steps 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7.

Having identified the non-core tasks, we can proceed to create an automated personal injury claim.

Automating non-core tasks

Our working example is an automation of Steps 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7, but here’s how they work now:

  1. Client fills out a form on the solicitor’s website;
  2. Form collects relevant data about claim from client and instantly generates (a) Time Limit calculations, (b) Case Management Sheet, (c) preliminary letter to client, (d) Section 68 letter, (e) Letter(s) to Respondent(s), (f) PIAB Form A, (g) Client instruction & authority to act, (h) Client letter to PIAB, (g) Solicitor letter to PIAB;
  3. Solicitor reviews (a) and (b) and offers preliminary advice (claim / don’t claim);
  4. Assistant e-mails (already drafted) documents to client;
  5. [Already completed under Step 2];
  6. Client attends with solicitor to review and sign documents;
  7. Assistant sends documentation to PIAB to lodge claim.

The solicitor can now focus solely on the core tasks – reviewing the facts, offering preliminary advice, and meeting the client to go through the generated documents and answer any questions.

The Working Example

Click below to access the working example. Just fill out the form (enter your own e-mail address on the first page – everything else can be fictional) and the generated documents will be e-mailed to you instantly.

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