Ringler knows how important it is to have some of the best consultants in the industry. Settlement consultants are the backbone of the company and make sure that all parties are taken care of. But who exactly are settlement consultants and what do they do?
This is a very important question and one that Ringler wants to make clear to their clients. Basically, a settlement consultant helps injured people and their families make smart decisions about their structured settlements. They work with each client and make sure that their goals and needs are met in regard to their case using a tailored plan, and they can walk clients through the pros of going with a structured settlement.
The topic of What does a settlement consultant do? was discussed on Ringler Radio. You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here: Ringler Radio Podcast Episode 319 The following are highlights from the discussion between Manny Valdez, Partner of the Valdez Team at Ringler, San Diego, California and Bill Wright, Lead Settlement Consultant at the Ringler Atlanta, Georgia.
Manny Valdez, said that settlement consultants try to “provide the financial security that individuals and their families need so that they are protected going forward.” Bill Wright also explained that a settlement consultant acts as negotiator and tries to get the defense and the plaintiff to agree on a settlement that works for both parties. “Do you remember those old Venn diagrams where you draw one circle and then you draw another circle and you get them to intersect? That’s what you’re trying to do in negotiations: get those circles to touch and overlap just a little bit.”
Valdez said that on the plaintiff side, many don’t want to listen to the settlement consultant because they believe they don’t understand their financial situation. He said they’ll often say the interest rates are too low or it’s too time consuming. “Many clients are smart about their money, but a structured settlement is not like investing in the market. Investing is a risky business and a settlement consultant wants to make sure that your finances are secured and protected.”
On the defense side, Wright said that many of his clients think structured settlements are going to be an easy process, like a magic wand that can be waved around and everything works out perfectly. He said that as a settlement consultant, one of the jobs is to educate all parties (the plaintiffs, the defense, etc.) on what the process really involves and give them a realistic sense of what they should expect going through the structured settlement process. “You want to make it a win-win solution for both sides,” he said.
One major benefit to using a settlement consultant is that clients can avoid “premature dissipation,” meaning that you’re spending all the money from the settlement too quickly. “They [the clients] believe they can handle their finances or that they can manage it when it comes to medical needs or having an income supplement. Next thing you know, it’s squandered too early,” said Wright.
Hiring a settlement consultant also brings in experts who are knowledgeable in negotiating settlements. That way you can get the best solution for your personal needs. You’ll also have someone that you can follow up with after the case is settled. A settlement consultant can talk you through any questions you have and even continue to give you advice on best financial choices so you can make smart and informed decisions. Both Bill and Manny agreed that “the earlier the better” meaning that you should bring a settlement consultant onto your case as early as possible. That way they can gather as much information and details as possible and bring a strategy that’s unique to a client’s specific case.
For settlement consultants, it’s really all about constant communication, both on the micro level and the macro level. Wright says, “On the macro level, my colleagues and I are using multiple social media platforms. We’re speaking at conferences in seminars and even to small local groups, both of the defense side and the trial attorney side.” Then on the micro, Wright says they’re going on a case-by-case situation and talking to individual people. This can include getting as much detail as possible from the defense side, the attorneys, and the claims professionals at the insurance company; talking about the goals for the settlement; finding out what the best case and acceptable solution set is, and then brainstorming how to integrate what to do in their settlement strategy.
Ultimately, Valdez says it’s all about engaging with clients and educating them about the entire process. “We’re just trying to share anything new that comes up in the industry. It could be something we learned from a past case that we were able to work through that was very complex.” He went on to say that diving into each individual cases is a great way to flush things out and get a better sense of time frames and how a case might turn out.
Both Manny and Bill are uncomfortable with the idea that settlement consultants are like brokers. It’s their belief that consultants should be personable and relationship-driven. “Regardless of what side of the case you come in on, structured settlements and other tools can be used to help them [your clients] get the case resolved in an equitable manner,” says Wright. Valdez agrees, saying “Get us involved early, let’s work together and really find what’s going to work for everyone.”
Ringler is the largest settlement planning company in the USA with over 250 professionals in more than 70 offices nationwide. If you’re looking for a consultant, click here. New more reasons to choose Ringler? Check out what others have said about us. We take a customer-focused approach to all cases. Ringler consultants make sure that all parties are treated with care and respect.
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