The Best & Worst Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys
My thoughts on who are the worst and best Orlando personal injury attorney have been mounting again this past week. You would not believe the stories I have heard over the past few years. Plus, this past couple of weeks, I’ve heard many reviews and stories about one of the largest & most recognized Orlando personal injury law firms in Orlando (Florida). Sorry, I can’t mention their name. But, if you want to hire the best Orlando personal injury attorney, and avoid the worst, then you need to read the stories below.
Strike One:Call Center For Numerous Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys
A couple of weeks ago, I went to lunch with a group of Orlando attorneys, all either solo or small firm attorneys. One of them told me that he had lunch with a fairly well known Orlando personal injury attorney recently. On their way to lunch, they passed the “call center,” which was a huge room taking up almost an entire floor of a large building. About 2/3 of the floor were those taking calls from injured people. These were trained operators who had a script that they ran through for each caller, depending on the type of accident (e.g., one set of questions for car accident victims, another for slip and fall, another for medical malpractice, etc). He learned that one of the largest and most recognizable firms in this city, with a heavy advertising budget, owns the call center. To make matters worse, several other very well known attorneys (which appear to be operating as solo / small firms) utilize this call center, and other services. I talked about related issues this earlier “big warning” post.
I don’t know about you. But I wouldn’t want to talk to an operator, who would then send a NON-LAWYER “investigator” to my home, hotel or hospital, to sign me up, without answering my questions. (Investigator is another word for person paid to transport documents back and forth, and trained to do nothing else.)
This Craig’s List ad describes what large personal injury law firms expect from call center employees (this ad was NOT from Orlando but you get the picture). Since the ad may be deleted, here’s what it said:
Law Firm Call Center/Sales
Now Hiring! Bilingual Preferred (SPANISH)!
Consumer law firm looking for dynamic sales professionals that are self-motivated, trustworthy and can quickly adapt to change in a fast-paced environment.
Primary Purpose and Essential Functions: High volume incoming calls from prospective clients. Clearly and concisely explain our services and enter client/case data in our proprietary system. Timely follow-up with clients (outgoing calls). Majority of call volume is incoming. No cold calls.
Skills: Ability to work on multiple tasks, work under pressure, excellent verbal and written communication skills, must be self-motivated and able to work independently, meet deadlines and quotas, and work effectively in a team environment.
* Communicate clearly and respectfully with clients (in person and phone).
* 100% data input accuracy.
* Client follow-up with case status and sales disposition.
* Possess a high level of professionalism.
*Proven experience in overcoming unexpected difficulties and using logical problem solving skills.
* Ability to understand and empathize with customer’s issues.
* Maintain broad knowledge of products, pricing, promotions, procedures, and other important issues.
* Greet customers in a courteous, friendly, and professional manner using agreed upon procedures.
* Listen attentively to customer needs and concerns; demonstrate empathy while maximizing opportunity to build rapport with the customer.
* Conduct needs-based selling by using scripted techniques.
* Strong sales closure techniques, confidence in products and advocate skills.
* Courteous with strong customer service orientation.
CALL CENTER ENVIRONMENT, PHYSICAL & OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Ability to perform hand activity work at a computer/telephone station in an office environment. Position is primarily sedentary. May stretch or stand at workstation for short periods at employee’s option, as long as such activity does not detract from the employee’s work, or interfere with other employees.
* Sales experience with proven close record
* Telemarketing or call center experience
* High School Diploma or equivalent certificate, some college coursework preferred
* Minimum 2 years customer service experience
Salary commensurate with experience.
In other words, they want the call center to tell you about their services, conduct “needs based selling,” call you back if necessary, and get you to hire the law firm, all based on whatever a non-lawyer call center employee tells you about your case (based on a script designed to “close” the sale). And they only want to hire people who have proven that they can close prospects using sales techniques! This is not what I learned in law school.
Strike Two: Call From New Potential Orlando Personal Injury Client Last Week
A potential client called me last week after a family member had been involved in a serious accident. He said that he called me after he called a much bigger law firm, and speaking with someone he had the impression was part of a call center. I’ve heard this type of statement many times before.
Strike Three: Clients Who Have Called Me After Hiring Another Orlando Personal Injury Attorney
We regularly have clients hire us after being hugely disappointed with a prior Orlando personal injury law firm. The typical story is that an attorney only explained the contract. Then a paralegal gave all further instructions (and was usually overworked). Make no mistake: to get the most money from your case, you need to speak with an attorney if you have moderate to serious injuries, or a death is involved. Unfortunately, depending on the stage of the case, you may or may not be able to cancel your contract. Don’t put yourself in this position. Just avoid hiring a settlement mill firm, and you will have much better odds.
I know they should be out after three strikes, but the terrible stories continue.
Strike Four: Desperate Text From Potential Orlando Personal Injury Client Tonight
The straw that broke the camel’s back, and made me write this post, was a text from a potential client. Obviously I cannot reveal the name of the person or the firm. But this person was talking about one of the best known Orlando personal injury law firms in town, when he wrote (details omitted to protect confidentiality):
Good evening. I just called this number and left a message. The recording said to text a message onto this number as well. Please, I have a personal injury / premises liability case (not a car accident). I’m in the formal demand stage & Friday that just past was their 30th day to respond back but they haven’t yet. I had an attorney on the case but he got hired over to work for [one of the largest Orlando personal injury firms, with many billboards all over town]. It’s a year now. . . .I only met with the attorney once for 20 minutes & that’s it. I have a great case but the communication is never there & this attorney is doing things without me being a part of it all & without speaking to me, no matter how many times I’ve addressed this.
This is a very busy attorney. That’s what I’ve been told over & over & over again. His paralegal called me back Friday right before 5 p.m. telling me that the attorney told her to tell me that perhaps it was best to find someone else who had more time for me. I couldn’t believe he told her to tell me. She, his paralegal, said that she didn’t have enough time to reach out to the right person at the defendant’s insurance company. . . . I could tell she was bothered & uncomfortable in telling me this. . . .I’m just feeling a bunch of things & I’m pretty shocked cause they have everything they needed. . . .That’s when I started to read & research and bumped into you this weekend in the process.
That Story Is Definitely Not Unique
I have heard similar stories MANY times by phone. This was just a little different because I had the text to share, and read with your own eyes. To give yourself the best chance of recovering the most money, you absolutely must hire a lawyer who has time for your case. There is nothing magical about big numbers on billboards. Big numbers follow serious injuries, if they exist, and if the lawyer spends the needed time on your case. Lawyers on billboards or television have no special powers or skills (at all), other than the ability to advertise to generate massive volumes of calls, which each lawyer cannot possibly handle with the care needed.
Are All Small Orlando Personal Injury Firms Better?
Unfortunately, many small firms, and even solo lawyers, also have a very high volume approach. I would have to say that volume is the rule for large and small Orlando personal injury law firms, not the exception. Here are some examples:
- I have spoken privately with several personal injury lawyers, from large and small firms, who freely admitted they only speak with clients long enough to introduce themselves, and explain the contract. Then they hand the client over to their overworked paralegal. You need to know that paralegals are file managers. They are not educated in the law, and cannot give you reliable legal advice.
- Before I developed a list of TRUSTED attorneys to whom I send referrals when I cannot accept a case, I repeatedly had great difficulty getting anyone to return my calls from numerous firms — and sometimes for very serious injury or even death cases.
- I have had many clients and potential clients tell me of their great difficulty talking to an attorney for any decent amount of time about their cases. This has included many small and large Orlando personal injury law firms.
Which Is The Best Orlando Personal Injury Attorney?
Of course I have my opinion about who is the best Orlando personal injury attorney. But I am not allowed to tell you. So you are just going to have to judge for yourself. I will say that your lawyer should be telling you exactly how to get the most money from your personal injury case. There are numerous steps involved, which YOU must understand. Your case value is not set on the day of the accident. Many things after the accident can raise or lower the value. One common trait of the best lawyers is that they talk to their clients, and give them advice about the process. If the advice makes sense, then you probably have found a good lawyer.
If you’d like to know why I think you should call me, you can read more about my background here. Unfortunately, I must decline some of the calls that I receive, because I do not have a high volume approach. This number goes up and down, depending on my schedule and case intake. We are more lenient with car, truck & motorcycle accident cases than slip and fall / premises liability cases, because of the amount of time & work needed to prove the cases. However, if for any reason I cannot help you, then I might be able to help you find who I believe would be the BEST Orlando personal injury lawyer who can. I do not think you should trust yourself to make that determination because you really have no way to evaluate a lawyer. On the other hand, I work in this industry, so I have an insider’s view of who is genuinely fighting hard for their clients, and who isn’t.