Question: Are the TV lawyers really as good as they say they are?
Answer: No. In fact, not even close.
Just because the lawyer can afford a TV, radio, billboard, bus, bus stop or newspaper advertisement doesn't mean he's a good lawyer. In fact, in most cases he's not. The worst possible way to hire an injury lawyer is to call the first lawyer you spot on TV or in a newspaper advertisement.
As a consumer, you are flooded constantly with cheesy lawyer advertisements on TV, radio and newspapers. With this constant barrage of awful lawyer commercials, how can you tell the good from the bad? You can't...at least not based on the ridiculous advertisements. For proof, spend an afternoon driving through Phoenix.
Most predominantly on the freeway billboards are personal injury lawyer ads. Each billboard ad contains a large photo of a lawyer (usually not a flattering picture to be kind--these guys should at least hire a model for their billboard) and the ads read pretty much the same thing: "Don't settle for less than you deserve" (what?), or "Getting screwed, Call us." (really?), or "Injured? 1-800-411-PAIN", or "Helping the injured" (don't the other guys in town help the injured too?) or "In a Wreck, Need a Check" (give me a break).
The billboard lawyer ads are total crap! Why would an injury victim choose one of these lawyers over the others? A little known inside secret among injury lawyers is that few of these lawyers actually practice trial law (despite their claims in their ads). Some of these lawyers won’t even handle the cases themselves, but instead, ship them off to another law firm, and take a piece of the pie at the end.
In almost all cases, if these lawyers can't settle your case quick, they will refer your case to a trial lawyer (a real working lawyer) and take a referral fee. Not a bad day's work if you can get it. The "TV lawyers" are laughing all the way to the bank. and the fact that their awful commercials give the profession a black eye means nothing to them.
The lesson for the day: If you need an injury lawyer, DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Do not hire the first lawyer you see on a TV, radio or newspaper ad. The best way to find a good lawyer? Ask your friends about the best injury lawyer in your area, or Google “ Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer” and look at the websites, the content and the ratings and review of past clients. Get some information, and ask your lawyer if he is a trial lawyer or a Certified Specialist. Ask about his past settlements and verdicts in similar cases, and experience with your particular kind of case. Ask if he will personally handle your case (isn’t that the important thing?). The hiring of the right injury lawyer is likely one of the most important decisions you will make, so make sure you do it right.
Remember, you will spend a lot of time with your injury lawyer over the next year or two. You better make sure your lawyer is someone you can trust and you like, and one who will personally stay involved in your case.