Nothing sends me faster to the mute button on the remote other than TV lawyer ads. One in particular is very grating. A spokes-lawyer for a gigantic mega firm in many states advising consumers to ask their lawyer, “How many multi-million dollar verdicts do you have under your belt?”
Now, there are big firms with a track record of gigantic verdicts, however, that’s not the norm. Not nearly. Multi-million cases come along to small firms and sole-practitioners a few times in a career, if we’re lucky. Most of our client’s injury claims are much more modest.
However, my commercial would turn this around and have the consumer ask the mega-firm spokes-lawyer the following questions:
1. Will I as a client ever speak to a lawyer about my case? (Usually not. You’ll speak to a paralegal…….eventually);
2. Can I expect immediate action on my case? I need a rental car now! (Not likely. After initial intake of your case, it takes time for the 25 cases they took in that day to be assigned to someone.);
3. If I have a problem, will my phone call be returned that same day?…….Dream on. Most mega-firms paralegals are totally overwhelmed with old cases and new cases.
4. If I cannot talk to a lawyer, will I have a dedicated paralegal I can rely on? Hah! You’ll probably talk to a variety of paralegals depending on your issue and whether that paralegal decided to leave for another firm. Turnover is generally huge.
5. Will anyone at that firm actually get to know me? Sure, they’ll know you as Case No. 4,428. One of about 5,000 cases. Will they know the strain your injuries have put on your marriage or that you can no longer hold a job? Coin toss – if you get a caring paralegal, maybe. Usually not, though.
6. If I have a multimillion dollar case, will I get their full attention? Absolutely!
7. If I have a case that’s not worth a fortune, will I get their full attention? ……..What do you think?
I am not unique in this respect, but I know all my clients by name. I know their “story”, I know their family. I’ve met all of their doctors and I keep up on their medical care monthly if not weekly. Every telephone call gets returned the same day; I meet regularly with my clients in my office to get fully updated. And I’ve known my paralegal for many years who also gets to know each and every client.
Now who do you think might get the better result in a negotiation with an insurance company for a client? The one who represents Client Case No. 4,428; or the attorney who knows you? The conclusion is yours to make…….
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