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Billboard Smiles — A Terrible Way To Find A Lawyer

billboard-37080_1280-300x227I look up. In big letters, I see it:

INJURED?

Next to the large word, I see the smiling faces and telephone number. It’s a new billboard. I drive down the road. Less than half a mile down the road, I see these words on another billboard:

WILLS AND ESTATE PLANNING?

It’s the same smiling faces and same phone number. The same so-called lawyers. Yet, the legal specialty is different. Very different. Maybe they should have a third billboard:

ANYTHING? CALL US HUNTSVILLE.

Really? Does it matter to these lawyers? Honestly, I care too much for my children to call any lawyer asking to write a Will or Trust for me from a billboard. When it comes to my family, I want a lawyer who actually studies that specialty exclusively. I want a lawyer who is not trying to write Wills and Trusts from a billboard. I have much better choices. Far better choices. So do you.

The same is true for personal injury cases. We have a number of excellent personal injury attorneys in northern Alabama. These other good choices include attorneys who spend all their time practicing in that specialty. These other choices are not begging for business in many different legal specialties. These other choices are not begging for clients in all areas of the law. These other choices include attorneys who have actually been through trials and appeals of serious personal injury cases. And, none of these good choices are on billboards. None.

The Huntsville billboard law firm asking if you have been “injured” knows better. Their own website (in the fine print disclaimer on their personal injury practice page) tells us they know better. What does it say? Their website disclaimer says they want your case simply to refer it for a fee. That’s right. They are going to “associate” a lawyer outside their firm who can really handle the case at trial or appeal. They are going to send your case to a real personal injury trial attorney (if they cannot quickly settle it). The truth known among local Huntsville lawyers is that this firm actually has a deal with an outside law firm to handle the serious cases. Of course that begs the question — Why advertise for cases you are simply referring to outside counsel? Well, we all know the answer to that question! It’s all about the fee.

Lawyers should be professionals who dedicate all their effort toward being the best at their chosen specialty. The stakes are high for clients. When it comes to Wills, Trusts and Estates, you may not realize the problems created by poor counsel in your lifetime. But, those errors can affect your children years from now. I do not write Wills or Trusts. But, I do handle trials. And, I have tried Will and Trust contest cases. They are highly emotional with heirs who feel wronged and cheated by earlier decisions. Mistakes from years earlier can destroy families.

In personal injury cases, bad choices leave tremendous amounts of damages uncollected. When a person is hurt, out of work, or facing medical costs, every dollar counts. Almost every week, we receive a phone call from someone who hired a billboard lawyer for their personal injury claim only to suffer more loss. Often, the damage caused by that billboard lawyer is beyond repair.

Your legal problem is too important for a smiling face along the highway. If you need a lawyer, take some time. Do some research. Look for a lawyer who is truly dedicated to your legal issue.