The structured settlement industry operates similarly to the real estate industry in that both sides of the transaction often have a broker representing them. Irrespective of which side we are representing, the plaintiff or defendant, our consultants bring an element of neutrality to the negotiation process. Our sole purpose is to use the structured settlement tool as a vehicle to resolve the case more efficiently. Recognizing that attorneys have different styles and different ways they like to utilize us, we believe strongly in a process of customizing our service platform to support the unique needs of each and every attorney we work with. The following will summarize our core services, which are foundational in nature, as well as our value added services, which go above and beyond to ensure our attorney clients maximize the value of our services.
To bring value to attorneys, Arcadia offers the following core services, in addition to a longer list of value-added services. With all of our services, there is never an out of pocket charge as we get compensated by the life company when the case settles with the annuity.
- Settlement Range Determination: At the request of the attorney, Arcadia consultants will analyze life-care plans, economist reports, Medicare Set-Aside allocations and future indemnity exposure, to assist in the determination of a settlement range within which the attorney would like to resolve a given claim.
- Designing Structured Settlement Options/Proposals: Arcadia will prepare settlement options/proposals within the agreed upon settlement range. These structured settlement options are then used to assist in the negotiation of the case by focusing on the future needs of the claimant/employee while also balancing the strategic goals of the attorney.
- Monitoring Rate Changes: Annuity rates from the life insurance companies change frequently, so we constantly monitor the rates of these companies to ensure that the appropriate company is being used for the specific situation. When necessary we will update settlement options in preparation for settlement discussions.
- Facilitating Settlement Strategy: Our consultants work directly with legal counsel in the presentation of settlement proposals either via telephone, at settlement conferences or at state Workers’ Compensation Boards in an effort to expedite settlement negotiations and achieve the best claims outcome.
- Direct Negotiations / Settlements: Arcadia settlement consultants are experienced professionals and will assist in settlement negotiations in any manner requested by the legal team. At the request of the attorney, we will directly negotiate with the claimant and/or claimant’s counsel or assist in negotiations as part of the settlement team.
- Settlement Conferences/Mediation/Court Attendance: Attorneys often rely on our highly knowledgeable consultants to attend settlement conferences, mediations, and court hearings, where we answer questions and revise proposals based on negotiations with the other side. Our participation at settlement meetings can be beneficial as we are experienced in the dynamics of the settlement process and can offer suggestions to assist the resolution.
- Post-Settlement: Upon settlement of a claim, we will assist the parties in the preparation and coordination of the appropriate settlement and release documents, including the necessary wording to conform to all applicable statutes for the protection of all parties involved in the case. Once the annuity contract has been issued, we handle any address or beneficiary change requests for the duration of the payments.
- Quality Assurance: Clients are able to reduce the risk of settlement language or quoting mistakes by relying on Arcadia’s centralized document Quality Assurance (QA) team – reviewing all details of completed transactions prior to distribution. The QA team double-checks the work of the consultants and their case managers in the field. Clients tell us this is unique in the industry as most structured settlement consultants only have their case manager check their work, while we have two rounds of settlement language & quote review – at the local level and by our QA team in Denver.
Value Added Services
Arcadia goes beyond the core services expected of a structured settlement firm (such as quoting and providing rated ages) to propose solutions at each stage of claim settlement to achieve the best claim outcome. Arcadia’s value proposition includes the following services which attorneys tell us are above their expectations:
- MSP Compliance: Coordination with MSA allocation provider(s) to ensure proper compliance with the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.
- Introducing Additional Resources: Arcadia has been a leader in the structured settlements industry for over 40 years, and so we are well-equipped to share relationships with key industry resources that enhance claims negotiation efforts.
- Continuing Legal Education: CE credit training for counsel.
- Large Case Analysis: Arcadia consultants will assist claim professionals in the financial evaluation of life care plans. We can provide, at the request of an attorney, a financial analysis of the injured worker’s future needs which may include Total Future Economic Value, Value Reduction Based on Coordination of Benefits and Impact of Substandard Age Rating
- Coordination of Government Benefits: Arcadia consultants will review the claim information with the attorney to determine the impact of a settlement on Social Security disability benefits and to determine the possible involvement of other government benefits.
- Taxation Questions: Arcadia has received several private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service regarding the use of structured settlements.
- Consultation on Alternative Settlement Vehicles: Arcadia has been a leader in developing alternative settlement funding vehicles and products to assist our clients with the best claims outcome. These include custodial medical accounts, “trigger” trusts (settlement funding trusts which can be converted to Special Needs Trusts if the need arises) and Treasury-funded settlement products.
- Bi-Lingual Consultants: Arcadia has consultants around the country who can communicate effectively in Spanish and several other languages, helping to overcome communication challenges that sometimes impede case discussions.
- Lifetime Indemnity Buyouts: At the request of the client, Arcadia consultants can assist with the funding of lifetime indemnity annuities without settlement for the purpose of reducing claim reserves and management expenses.
- Case Valuation Support: Analysis of the future loss exposure, such as future wages and medical expense needs, based on payment history information and reports from experts like life care planners.