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Personal Injury Law Firms: Does Size Matter?

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injury accident law firms florida does size matterIt is completely false that “size matters,” if the idea is that bigger is better, when it comes to personal injury & car accident law firms, other than the fact that the biggest law firms have many inexperienced lawyers ready to learn how to practice law on your case.  In fact, as an experienced injury lawyer who has worked in law firms of all sizes (including on the defense side for huge corporations routinely handling multi-million dollar cases), if I were personally needing to hire an accident or injury lawyer in another state, I would stay FAR away from the biggest law firms, and look instead for the smaller firm, with experienced lawyers with excellent credentials, who I felt would give my case the time and attention it needed.

Nevertheless, many potential clients over the years have told me that they initially assumed that they needed a big law firm, particularly in a potentially high value case, or a case involving a corporate defendant, like a large business, semi-truck company, or insurance company. Sometimes they falsely assumed that bigger law firms might have more money to fund the litigation.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, as far as money to fund cases, injury & accident law firms, large and small, spend about the same amount of money on cases of similar potential value.

For example, we spend big on a case that justifies those expenses. So we pay many thousands of dollars for things like accident reconstruction engineers, medical experts, lifecare planners, economists (to estimate the lifetime cost of your injuries), and the like. (This only happens, at any law firm, in the most serious injury and highest potential value cases — which is what you want because we only front these costs — they are deducted from your recovery at the end of the case. But you want us to spend that money on your behalf because, in the highest value cases, the investment usually pays off big time.  The good news is that you owe us nothing if we recover nothing, regardless of what costs we expended on your behalf.) Big law firms, when they litigate, spend about the same amount of money, on the same kinds of experts (which happens only in a low percentage of their cases — they settle the majority of their cases without ever filing a lawsuit).

Spending sometimes a lot of money on high value cases is actually very routine and not any higher or lower based on law firm size.

The big difference between larger law firms, and smaller law firms like ours, is that we only have experienced lawyers working on ALL cases. At big law firms, many associates are just a few years out of law school, and they are learning to practice on your case. (You can confirm this is true by clicking on the pages where big law firms show their lawyers — there you will see a long list of lawyers of varying ages but many are young.)

The bottom line is that if you are looking for the best Orlando car accident lawyer, then you need to do your own research, while putting aside completely the idea that bigger means better. Bigger only guarantees better and more aggressive advertising.

In fact, if you are really interested in this truly fascinating and eye-opening topic, you absolutely should read about settlement mill law firms here and here.  And we encourage you to read the study upon which those blog posts were based, in which a Stanford University professor carefully & thoroughly investigated the settlement practices of the nation’s largest law firms at the time — this was a fascinating study and well worth a careful read if you are even remotely considering hiring a gigantic law firm, which we do not recommend.

The most compelling conclusion of that study is that the highest value cases, and even moderate value cases, usually result in lower value outcomes at the biggest law firms (ironically, the lowest value cases received slightly higher value outcomes, in part because insurance companies have somewhat of a “wink wink” arrangement with bigger law firms — allowing them to cut costs to settle bigger cases while being slightly more generous with the lowest value cases.)  Part of the reason this happens is that cases that are settled, versus litigated, have lower values.  And most cases are settled without lawsuits at the biggest law firms, where each lawyer is swamped with hundreds of cases (because one lawyer couldn’t even dream of handling hundreds of lawsuits effectively).

The bottom line is that these firms must pay for their big advertising with high volume case loads per attorney — and the economics of their practices (because of their huge advertising budgets) makes the high volume case load approach not optional for bigger law firms.  They must rake in money from cases in extraordinarily high volumes to pay for their very, very expensive billboards & television ads.

In sharp contrast, from the beginning, we have stayed true to our roots, which means that we take cases one at a time, and only take as many new cases as our experienced Orlando car accident lawyers can handle. If we are too busy to handle a particular case, or if we just think another lawyer would be better based on their expertise, then we absolutely will refer you to who we think would be the better lawyer for your type of case.  We often refer to other lawyers who we know focus on sub-specialty practice areas within personal injury law.  We also do not engage in aggressive advertising, like billboards, radio and television ads, because we are not trying to become a large law firm employing hundreds of lawyers of varying experience levels.

We work with a few lawyers who are ALL very experienced, and who have ALL achieved many high value verdicts and settlements. We also have a former law professor and big firm defense lawyer (Tina Willis), and the former President of the Florida Justice Association, who is intimately involved as well. Because of our extensive experience, including work at some of the nation’s largest law firms, on multi-million dollar cases, we know the playbook of the other side. We also know who is best for medical treatment in these cases, and which judges and counties to try to avoid or seek, whenever possible.  We also know and have good relationships with the best mediators — who often play an outsized role in your case value.  We know where and when to spend money. We also know that each big case needs careful attention to everything about the case, from your medical treatment, to witnesses, to crash evidence, to experts, to the litigation plan as your case proceeds through our court system.  This careful & necessary attention would be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE if our lawyers were handling high volumes of cases.  Together, we have a small but very formidable team. Insurance companies know this, which helps when we work to settle or litigate cases.

Even if you aren’t sure about which law firm you want to hire, if you were involved in a serious auto accident, you will benefit from calling us for a second opinion. This costs you nothing and you will learn something valuable, IF we think we might be able to help.  For serious accidents, where you were not the at-fault driver, and there is insurance coverage available, you will speak with an experienced attorney soon after calling. We will give you our best assessment of everything that you could do, and that we might help you do, to recover the most money for your Orlando car or truck accident case.

If you would like a careful assessment from an experienced lawyer of your serious car or truck accident case, please give us a call, or send us a text, today.  You can call or text 24/7 (407) 803-2139.  At least two highly experienced lawyers will review the facts of your case very quickly after you call (please be aware that our calls are screened by an answering service; however our lawyers and experienced paralegals ALL read the intake information quickly & respond promptly if we think we can help).

 

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About the Author:

Tina Willis is a serious injury, accident & death lawyer, based in Orlando, Florida, although she accepts cases throughout the states of Florida and Georgia. Ms. Willis has won many prestigious industry awards, best personal injury & car accident lawyer awards, and recovered multi-millions for her clients. She was formerly a law professor, and graduated second in her law school class back in 1997. She formerly worked for some of the largest defense firms in the country, often on multi-million dollar cases. She used to represent large corporations & insurance companies, so she knows their playbook. We are very focused on the highest quality client service, and maximizing the value of every case we handle. We vigorously prosecute serious injury and death cases caused by auto accidents, semi-truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, products & premises liability cases, as well as medical malpractice.
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