Zola Suite now has a Personal Injury Module to help you track and disburse Settlements more efficiently! To get started using this feature, you'll want to go into Firm Settings-> Billing and Accounting-> PI Expense Categories and PI Settlement Memo. The Expense Categories can be custom and unique to your firm's needs when recording matter expenses and the PI Settlement Memo can help you to tailor your Settlement Memos, or as some may know it, Closing Statements.
When creating a new PI Expense Category, you will be asked to create an Expense Code and choose an Expense Category. Typical Expense categories are a) Deduct and Retain to Pay and 2) Deduct and pay to other. Deduct and Retain is used to categorize expenses that are laid out and will be reimbursable to the firm from settlement proceeds. Expenses marked as “Deduct and pay to other” can be used for those costs that are borne by the client or other third parties for which they need to be reimbursed. There is also an option Recovery category. There is typically no need to create an Expense Category for Recovery as this is automatically added when a receipt of settlement is recorded.
The Settlement Memo Section directs these expenses to accurately calculate on the Settlement Memo.
The Settlement Memo Section allows you to create a custom, personalized Settlement Statement to provide to your clients for signature and authorization.
The PI Module can be enabled when creating a matter or after the fact using the Matter Options Tab.
Within the PI Module on the matter, you can establish your firm's percentage, and when received, the final settlement amount. With these two pieces of information, you are then able to generate a Settlement Memo.
When adding additional parties to a PI enabled matter, you are able to allocate a percentage of the settlement to a contact(s) other than your Primary Client. As an example, a referring partner may be participating in the contingency fees. Settlement memos can also be generated by Contact, so if you represent multiple people they can each have their own.
When creating Hard Costs and Soft Costs on a PI enabled matter, you will have additional options to choose your Expense Category, Expense Date, Value Amount, and the Contact the expense should be linked to.
Values reports are a feature of the Expenses Tab when utilizing the PI Module. Values represent the value of expenses regardless of the actual cost, which may be lower due to negotiation.
Creating a Trust Retainer on a PI matter will also give you the option to choose an Expense Category and a Contact to associate the funds to.
When you are ready to disburse Settlement Funds, you will have the option to generate a Settlement Memo for each contact on the matter who will be receiving funds.