The most important issue to be addressed in the settlement video is damages. The documentary must clearly demonstrate for the claims administrator and opposing counsel how the victim’s life has been altered, what the severity of the victim’s injuries are, as well as an assessment of current and future needs. While presenting damages, it is imperative to highlight the credibility and sympathy of the victim and their condition. Here again, interviews with key family members will assist in presenting the effects of the injuries with before and after anecdotes. In addition, providing the victim’s medical, psychiatric, education and employment records for inclusion into the documentary in conjunction with interviews with the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrist is recommended.
A cohesive, logical and persuasive settlement video presentation can educate the opposing party about the merits of a case. It also can demonstrate the credibility, preparedness and commitment of plaintiff’s counsel. Settlement videos may be presented as the plaintiff’s opening statement, or it may be submitted to the mediator and opposing counsel several weeks in advance so that they may adequately prepare for settlement. No matter how they are used, settlement video documentaries are highly effective tools and are a must for the modem day plaintiff’s lawyer.