In Georgia and around the country, there are an endless number of lawyers who represent people pursuing claims for personal injuries. Some of these lawyers practice in giant corporate firms with hundreds of lawyers; others practice in medium or small law firms, or even practice by themselves. Lawyers who represent people who have been injured use different means to advertise their services to the public. Many of the larger firms use television ads to promote their law firms. These lawyers create impressive television commercials, and they tell us that they have the best attorneys available to meet your needs. They tell us that all of the other attorneys are bad.
But are you really getting the best possible legal services when you contact the giant law firms with television advertisements? In my mind, the best answer to that question is: “who knows?” A gigantic corporate injury law firm is set up to operate like a vast machine. When you contact the number on your screen, your call goes to the firm’s out-of-state central office building to a multi-floor bank of call screeners. If you pass their test questions, they ascertain your location and then farm your legal matter out to a satellite office in your general region. You are assigned an attorney with support employees. Then those persons begin the process of running your case through the mill in attempts to reach a settlement. If settlement doesn’t happen, then your claim continues through the mill into a lawsuit. Statistically, only a tiny percentage of personal injury lawsuits ever go to a jury trial.
To be sure, the giant corporate law firm has thousands and thousands of cases that must be processed at any given time. And to be sure, for purely business reasons, the gigantic law firm must make every effort to keep the process as uniform, streamlined and efficient as possible. But the further your case goes through the process, the less uniform, streamlined and efficient it becomes. The further your case goes, the closer it is to becoming a “problem child.” Welcome to the machine.
Given these facts, you can imagine the complaints that clients of giant corporate injury law firms have about their representation. Clients tell us that neither the man on the commercial, nor his look-alike sons ever provided any legal services to them; they never even met the folks in the commercials. In fact, they never met the lawyer who was assigned to them, or the lawyer’s helpers, in person. The firm’s offices are too far away. They have trouble getting anyone on the phone; they have trouble getting information from their lawyer, they don’t receive return phone calls. Time passes and they never know what is going on with their case. Some complain that they have no specific person to contact; they’ve called the firm over time and have spoken to five different people. And often times the person they speak to is unfamiliar with their case.
But when a firm has 400 lawyers, 1000s of employees and tens of thousands of clients at any given time, what else can one expect? The bottom line is that it is a big mistake to expect that you are going to get any kind of personalized service from a giant TV law firm. Maybe you will; maybe you won’t. Who knows?
But in reality, injury lawsuits can involve issues that are critical to our lives. And every person’s legal matter is completely different from every other person’s legal matter. So it is impossible to effectively approach clients’ legal matters in any kind of uniform, cookie-cutter manner. It is absolutely critical that each person’s legal matter gets the individualized attention that it needs and deserves. So one should be very cautious when turning over the most important matters in their lives to giant, corporate injury law firm “machines.”
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for more about giant corporate TV law firms in the near future!