In July 2019, Capital One announced that it had been hacked, and the personal information of millions of Americans was exposed. This data breach was one of the largest thefts of bank data in American history. In 2018 alone, billions of people were affected by data breaches and other cyberattacks. From Equifax and Target to major hospital and insurance organizations, our financial and health data seems to be constantly at risk.
But what is a data breach?
A data breach is a security incident where data is released or accessed by an untrusted source without authorization. But not all information is of the same value to hackers. The most sought-after data is patient health information because it can be used to forge insurance claims. Most Americans have had their information exposed, and for some of those affected, there is justice. Civil action suits, known as mass torts, help numerous data breach victims join forces against a single defendant.
What is a mass tort?
A mass tort is when several lawsuits against one or more defendants are gathered into one action rather than separate lawsuits. Law firms and other legal organizations working on mass torts deal with mountains of paperwork as they gather key documentation to prove injury and damages in discovery. Discovery is the cornerstone for the burden of proof in any mass tort case and can include documentation such as medical records, email communication, and photographs.
Learn More: HIPAA compliance isn’t just for hospitals and doctors. Should your law firm be HIPAA compliant? Get the information you need by watching this webinar.
The discovery process is very time-intensive, and many law offices are burdened by the need to repeatedly mail out packets of paperwork, surveys, and data breach questionnaires to find people who fit their case profile. When they receive responses, a qualified staff member must follow up by mail or phone to get contingency and representation contracts signed. Finally, all completed paperwork must be processed and reconciled into a client management system.
For the discovery in any large-scale case, this process is incredibly inefficient. This intake process absorbs the time of many skilled workers, such as paralegals, trial intake staff, and other hired services. Plus, the constant back-and-forth paper management adds cost to each case.
Formstack offers a different way. With Formstack, law firms handling mass tort cases can leverage electronic data and document gathering on forms and surveys (including medical claims/accident information), automated contract generation, and eSignature collection to eliminate time-intensive processes. Using Formstack’s Portal feature, law firms can create a single location for clients to complete forms and surveys.
NOTE: If you’re dealing with patient health information, you may need your eDiscovery solution to be HIPAA compliant. All of Formstack’s products offer top-of-the-line security features and are HIPAA compliant. Check out our blog post to learn more about HIPAA compliance for law firms.
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Using Formstack’s Platform for Discovery
Some of our legal customers are already leveraging a completely digital workflow for mass torts.
Data and document collection
Using Forms, you can build online forms and surveys to prospect for clients that meet your case profile. When you’re ready for discovery, you can create a Portal for all of the documents that need to be completed by your clients and add deadlines for submission. Our File Upload field lets you collect document scans, photographs, and other files needed in discovery.
Use the data collected on forms and surveys during discovery to automatically generate representative documentation and other contracts or agreements. Formstack Documents integrates with popular software, such as CRMs and cloud storage tools, so you can upload, store, and manage completed files.
Securely collect electronic signatures on important documents quickly. Formstack Sign offers email delivery as well as mobile document delivery so you can ensure your documents are signed and returned promptly.