Presenting A Settlement Documentary

PRESENTING YOUR SETTLEMENT DOCUMENTARY

In this article we are going to go over ways for presenting a settlement documentary. Settlement documentaries are created specifically for mediation and are not designed to be admissible in court. The purpose of the settlement documentary is to educate the opposition about the enormity of the harm injury victims and their families suffer as a result of negligence or malpractice. Once your settlement documentary is completed, when you plan to show it requires consideration.

Plaintiff damages being depicted in a settlement documentary for a personal injury case

Here are the three main strategies plaintiff attorneys use for their presentations, along with suggested delivery methods:

 

STRATEGY 1 – SEND YOUR SETTLEMENT DOCUMENTARY IN ADVANCE OF MEDIATION

Attorneys using this strategy explain that it’s important that the carrier see the settlement documentary in advance of mediation since the case is often evaluated long before the mediation takes place. Many attorneys also show the video at mediation to ensure all the decision makers present have been able to thoroughly review the video and make an accurate evaluation. Our clients typically like to send the video two to four weeks in advance.  They will either send hard copies (i.e. DVDs) or a streaming link.
   A settlement documentary on DVD

STRATEGY 2 – PRESENT THE SETTLEMENT DOCUMENTARY AT MEDIATION

Some plaintiff attorneys subscribe to the philosophy that you shouldn’t show a settlement video in advance. They believe that the presentation has the most significant impact when it’s shown at mediation in one sitting. If the adjuster sees it in advance, she’ll try to dissect the video which diminishes the intended effect.  For the best quality, the documentary should be played back from a video file located on the laptop’s local hard drive into a TV monitor in the meeting room, or played from a DVD to a DVD player.  NEVER stream the video because a choppy internet connection will yield a choppy result and the video will be ineffective.

 

STRATEGY 3 – SCHEDULE A PRIVATE SHOWING WITH THE ADJUSTER

Perhaps the most effective presentation is to schedule a private viewing of the documentary to the adjuster in a neutral location.  For a big, significant case, we have clients who will rent a hotel suite or meeting room near the carrier’s headquarters and invite the adjuster to meet to review the documentary.  In a private setting with no interruptions, and a very controlled environment, the presentation is made one-on-one.  A client of ours in Kokomo used this strategy.  He flew to Cleveland to show the video to the adjuster in a nearby hotel suite.  He played the video.  The adjuster watched intently.  At the conclusion, the adjuster left without saying a word.  The case settled two weeks later for what the plaintiff was asking.

Whether you present your settlement documentary in advance of mediation, during mediation, or at a private showing, the goal is the same – to maximize the recovery for your client. Thinking through the presentation options ahead of time will go a long way toward making sure all the decision makers see and understand your client’s story.  As always, we are here to help if you have any questions.

Learn more about our settlement documentaries for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases.

Do you have a client whose story needs to be told? Since 1994, Image Resources, Inc. has produced thousands of settlement documentaries for some of the best attorneys in the country. To hear what our clients have to say about their strategies – click here. Call or email us to discuss your case today!

 

 

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