We’ve all seen the huge amount of television commercials by big law firms that scare accident victims into believing if they’re injured and they don’t hire them, they’re making a big mistake. I guess if we don’t advertise on TV, we’re not as effective as they. That’s the implication.
In reality, the size of the firm or their massive advertising budget to air these slick commercials really bears no relationship to the size of a settlement or judgment or the competence of a personal injury attorney. Don’t confuse office bloat with big settlement numbers.
Personal injury attorneys and law firms large and small can do an excellent job of representing the injured. I know many local lawyers who have very active practices and don’t feel the need to litter highway shoulders with billboards or clog the airwaves with non-stop commercials boasting about their “aggressiveness”. Our advertising comes by way of extensive local community involvement, not commercials or billboards. We’d much rather be known in our community than three counties over.
In fact, since one noted TV lawyer likes to pose questions to you to ask your personal injury attorney before hiring him or her, I’d like to do the same if you happen to call one of these big budgeted advertising attorneys:
- When you call their 1-800 phone number, ask where they are. Are they in Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey? No, chances are they’re in the equivalent of a call center somewhere in Tampa;
- Ask if they have a local office. I bet they’ll avoid answering and tell you instead that for your convenience, we can have someone out to your house to sign you up, today!;
- Ask if you are talking to an attorney, or if the person coming out to your house is an attorney. I’ll bet the person sitting in your living room won’t be within a mile of a lawyer. These large advertising firms have a ton of staff. Intake officers, runners, secretaries, paralegals and then, lawyers;
- Ask about the size of the personal injury firm: What is the ratio of paralegals to lawyers? Many of these firms have few lawyers and dozens of paralegals. Think you’ll get individual, personalized representation from a lawyer?;
- It might be wise to ask how long it will be until your case is assigned to someone. It’s not unusual for it to take some of these large firms days or weeks to even get your file to a staffer to open, while your car remains in a body shop lot and your lost wages go uncollected.
We operate as a “boutique” personal injury law firm. Every new injury client will meet his or her attorney before leaving our office. We personally know our clients and each client is invited to call or e-mail us anytime. All phone messages are returned the same day in most instances. We know our clients’ cases fully, are engaged in the development of the cases and routinely meet with each client as he or she recuperates from whatever injuries they’ve been dealt.
When we have settled our clients’ cases we send out a client personal injury questionnaire form and we proudly boast that we have a very high favorability rating from our clients. With such successes we get our best referrals from existing and former clients. Why would we need television commercials or billboards?