There are around 93,000 personal injury attorneys in the U.S. (*)
Competition can be steep when acquiring new clients. Figuring out ways to set yourself apart in your local community can truly help your business thrive, no matter how large your practice is.
Here are 12 things clients look for when they hire a personal injury attorney.
1. Someone Looking Out For Their Interests
Some of the largest personal injury firms in America have over 3,000 lawyers on their payroll.
The sheer number of clients this could bring in is impressive. But even clients who go to big box law firms are still expecting their most basic needs to be met. They don’t just want results; they want someone who is looking out for their best interest.
2. Personal Injury Attorneys Who Specialize
Clients like to work with a proven name, but they like it even more when they know you specialize in the type of law they need to win their case.
Sometimes, narrowing your marketing focus to specialize in one or two key areas of the personal injury market can pay off big. If personal injury is just a branch of your overall practice, it might be hard to convey to clients that you can meet their exact needs.
3. History of Success
Has your firm been successful in the past? Maximize your exposure of this information.
Clients want to see your body of work. They appreciate things like relevant statistics and comparisons to past cases. Big clients especially like to see that you’ve been successful against large insurance agencies and big businesses.
4. Previous Client Testimonials
Don’t underestimate the power of reviews on Google, Yelp, social media, and the Better Business Bureau.
46 percent of people googling information are looking for something local—usually a business. Many won’t contact your law firm until they read what others have to say about you online.The conversation around your personal injury law can be an amazing asset for your law firm or a total liability.
Do a thorough search to see what your web presence looks like. If there’s nothing online about your law firm, incentivize your current clients to get reviews online. Sometimes, nothing can be worse than a negative review.
Time is of the essence in many personal injury cases. Especially if the client desperately needs their settlement money to pay bills, medical expenses, or other fees as the result of their accident.
The faster you send demand letters and file your case—assuming you’ve done thorough research—the better.
6. Settlement Amount
Of course, money is a factor. Clients want to work with the personal injury attorney they feel can get them the best settlement.
Most lawyers use similar basic calculations. But it doesn’t hurt to periodically audit your firm’s process to see if you’re properly calculating the objectives of a case, like emotional pain or loss of quality of life.
Be sure your process for calculating these is rock-solid—as substantial as possible, but not excessive or unrealistic. You have to deliver what you promise, after all.
7. Total Transparency
Whether you work on contingency or require a retainer for your service, make sure there’s total transparency about your payment process. Hidden fees and vague charges are almost guaranteed to upset a client.
Even if you are successful and win your client a bunch of money, they’ll be unlikely to pass your name along or leave you good reviews if they feel swindled or disrespected.
Along similar lines, every person makes mistakes. But if you or your personal injury firm have any black marks on your record (legally speaking), be sure to disclose these. Better for them to hear it from you.
Speed is important, but good personal injury attorneys don’t settle for the first claim offer if it isn’t right for the client. Deploying patience and going back to the drawing board for clients is a surefire way to satisfy your clients.
In many cases, it takes going to court and receiving multiple settlement offers before a fair and appropriate amount is agreed upon.
9. Firms Who Work Closely With Medical Providers
Good personal injury attorneys work closely with local medical providers. They can easily access medical records online and call doctors or specialists to get input on a case.
This sort of communication shows a degree of thoroughness and humility. Clients see your thorough approach and appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile on their behalf.
Some medical providers can even be a way to generate leads for your law firm.
Learn more about how ShareScape connects busy medical providers and personal injury attorneys seamlessly through a secure online portal.
10. Easy Communication
Are you easy to get a hold of? Do you follow up promptly? No matter how big your law firm, clients want to know they can get in touch if it’s needed.
Today, less formal modes of communication like text message and FaceTime are becoming popular ways for clients to speak to their lawyers. Consider these, along with traditional methods, like secure emails and phone calls, as part of your firm’s process.
11. Firms That Can Meet Their Needs
One drawback to some large personal injury firms is that they often turn to paralegals and junior associates to handle the paperwork.
Clients want to feel like they’re in good hands, which is why scaling your law firm too quickly could come back to bite you. Make sure there’s at least one experienced lawyer handling the case at all times.
12. A Teacher
Approach your practice with the eyes of a teacher. Learn how to communicate legal jargon in a way your clients can understand. And be willing to answer questions.
Do you educate your clients? Do they understand why settling now is the right move? Or do you breeze over it without explaining the situation?
Those who do gain an upper hand when it comes to getting referrals down the road.
What Clients Look For In a Personal Injury Attorney
You can differentiate yourself as a personal injury attorney by being honest, educational, patient, and transparent with your clients. Empathy can go a long way towards building your business. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.
Request a demo to see how ShareScape connects busy medical providers to attorneys for seamless, secure online health information sharing today.