Do Not Trust Out-Of-State Personal Injury Attorneys
Personal injury attorneys must cope with a bad reputation as ambulance chasers. If I weren't in an accident myself as a child, I probably would have chosen a different field. Unfortunately, some lawyers have done all that they can to give the rest of us a bad reputation. The main culprits are those attorneys who advertise using gimmicks on radio, billboards, and TV. I know. I worked for one of these firms after I first passed the bar. They are usually personal injury “mills” set up to to churn out as many cases as possible. They market to economically disadvantaged people hoping to use their need for a quick settlement as leverage to settle quickly. They will cut up the settlement for the doctor, their attorney’s fees, and inflate attorney expenses, leaving you the client with next to nothing.
How do you know you are dealing with a personal injury mill? The first sign is if a non-attorney comes out to your house. This individual, sometimes known as a “runner,” hopes to secure your signature on the personal injury contract before you change your mind. To them, time is of the essence. The sooner they have you sign the form, the better. They need their leads to sign quickly because they know one thing: That their clients have no loyalty. If they don’t sign up their clients fast, they know they will go elsewhere.
There is a reason that those that call cleverly crafted marketing have little loyalty: They will rarely ever talk to an actual attorney. The head attorneys at these firms serve more as chief marketers than lawyers. They care about profit more than their clients and employees. They rely on a team of non-attorneys to order your medical records, get the police report, and make a demand to the insurance company as soon as possible. They will send you to a doctor, likely a chiropractor of ill-repute, who may over-bill the insurance company for treatment you may not need.
If you don’t believe me, look at the Google Reviews for the firm that operates 4-1-1 Pain in St. Louis. It would be very difficult for any firm to operate with such awful reviews if they really cared about their clients. They are not alone amongst call centers with unsatisfied clients. Phone numbers like Big Al’s 1-800-HURT-1-2-3 have long been associated with nefarious actors (there is no person named Big Al, by the way). A lot of their advertising plays on insulting racial tropes.
There are many fine law firms in Missouri that practice personal injury law. I encourage you to choose one of us. Do not sign up with an out of state law firm for a personal injury case that happens in Missouri. Particularly avoid law firms out of Texas. I have seen many of these Texas attorneys expand into St. Louis believing they can take over the market using clever gimmicks.
Unfortunately for them, St. Louisans are smarter than that. Most people are loyal to their lawyer if they find them through a referral of a family or a friend. I haven’t seen many out of state law firms make it for more than a few years. A personal injury law firm that operates in Missouri and Texas firm is more than likely a personal injury mill. You will probably never talk to an actual attorney. You can expect poor customer service. You will be assigned a “case worker” that will rarely give you accurate updates. You will be encouraged to settle quickly. The firm, after all, needs access to quick capital to support their gimmicky marketing. You will likely have that firm charge you exorbitant medical expenses, eating away at your recovery. If you don’t believe me, check out their reviews. Be wise and steer clear!