So, you are laboring away working on a deal for a client whose company is growing rapidly. Aunt Irene calls you because you are the only lawyer in the family. She was just in an accident in Philadelphia over the weekend. What do you do?
Should you handle the case yourself? No. Like every other area of the law, personal injury is highly specialized. Much of my expertise depends on knowing the value of various injuries in today’s climate, knowing the venue, knowing the personalities of various insurers, knowing how to calm agitated clients who are injured, knowing how to get their car paid for, their medical benefits set up, and figuring out what their coverage may be and what liens will arise. While you could learn all this, many non-personal injury lawyers will miss subtle but important points and hurt their family member’s case. So, refer the case out to me instead.
Should you just have her call one of the big advertising law firms? No, again. Aunt Irene deserves better. I cannot tell you how many clients of mine were fed up by their treatment at the large personal injury mills, where they only get to talk to a paralegal about their case. Large, high-volume personal injury shops end up with a lot of client complaints. I do not. Aunt Irene deserves better.
So, why me? Well, Aunt Irene will get my personal attention along with that of my paralegal. Second, unlike a lot of personal injury lawyers, I have not been hurt by the pandemic. Most firms with lots of secretarial and paralegal staff have let go rafts of support staff just to keep afloat. I have always kept a financial fortress balance sheet for good times and bad and am not in desperate straits like a lot of the personal injury bar. A desperate personal injury lawyer is not a good thing. They look to settle cases for lower than full value just to keep their business afloat. Also, unlike many injury lawyers, the insurers know that they will get a real fight from me and that I am unafraid to go to trial. In the midst of the pandemic, I tried a case to verdict in Chester County, which is a notoriously defendant friendly venue.