Lawyer ads are everywhere. They are all very similar. Smiles. Confidence. Promises. What kind of promises? In all of them, the advertising lawyer promises he or she will handle your problem. As one local advertising lawyer says in his ads, “we got this.” Does he? Lots of companies advertise assurances about their products and services.
One local Huntsville law firm advertises for workers’ compensation cases by saying a settlement may be in your best interest. Their ad starts by noting “the uncertainty that surrounds” lots of comp cases. Then, it offers the hope of a settlement. Finally, the ad says you should call them for help. It’s a classic marketing ploy — Step one, highlight the need or fear. Step two, disclose a potential solution. Step three, offer yourself as guide to solve the need.
Is a settlement in your best interest? Maybe it is. Maybe it is not. I talk to injured workers every day. Most people are unfamiliar with the work comp process. For many callers, it is the first time they have ever suffered any significant personal injury at work. The whole process can be uncertain. Medical treatment. Continued employment. Vocational rehabilitation. Money Benefits. It’s a new, and very different, process. Some lawyers exploit that unknown by smiling and telling clients the results are good when they really are not.
It’s like the attorney commercial where the person appears and says, “So-and-so got me $500,000 for my car accident!” Well, $500,000 is a lot of money. It’s a lot of money unless your case is worth more. Then, it’s a bad result.
That brings us to the real problem with many lawyer consultations. How does the lawyer know your case is uncertain unless he or she has been to trial many times in these claims? How does the lawyer know the full range of likely outcomes unless he or she has been to trial many times in these claims? It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback. Any lawyer can learn the compensation formulas. Any lawyer can make calculations. Any lawyer can tell you the compensation amounts you might receive. But, real trial experience is needed to know the real risks and real recoveries of your claim.
Because of this, we listed some of our work comp trials on our website. Our firm has tried comp cases in counties across Alabama. When I’ve attended trial dockets in these counties, one thing is obvious. A lot of attorneys advertise for cases but only a few really go to trial. That experience is so valuable. I only see a few of them in the courtroom. If injured, what do you get when you hire a lawyer with real trial experience? You get the perspective of a lawyer who understands preparing cases for trial. You get the perspective of a lawyer who understands first-hand the issues and facts that make a difference between winning and losing in a courtroom. You get the perspective of a lawyer who has experienced the flow of a courtroom. You get the benefit of a lawyer the insurance company knows will go to trial if a fair settlement is not offered. If you are injured and need real true advice, look for a lawyer who goes to trial. That experience provides a great benefit in your personal injury case. My advice — Ask the lawyer how many work comp cases he or she has tried to verdict in Alabama.
From its office in Huntsville, the Blackwell Law Firm helps people with serious injuries across Alabama. If you have questions, give us a call. Our strategy sessions are always free and confidential.