You have seen their ads. You have seen their trucks driving up and down the road; you have seen their billboards, and some of you have received letters in the mail from them. Yes, lawyers advertise for your personal injury case, and some of them advertise a great deal. They may be hard at work advertising to get your business, but do they work hard on your case? They generally do not. They do not try cases; they settle them for whatever the insurance company is willing to pay because the bulk of their time and energy is spent on advertising. Trying cases is hard work and takes a lot of time. Those of you who have actually been through a trial know this. Our business motto is to take care of our clients and they will take care of us. Lawyers who solicit injury victims maintain a "get as many claims as possible"motto. The insurance companies do not respect or fear the soliciting lawyer. For example, last year an insurance company offered $6,000 on a claim with a soliciting lawyer. The injured person did not think that was enough. The injured person asked us to take over the case and we resolved the case for $90,000.
We have represented many clients who began their legal cases with soliciting lawyers. They have come to us either because they realized that they had made a mistake or the soliciting lawyer referred the case. Oftentimes, however, by the time of the referral the case is several years old and the case has been bungled. What do the soliciting lawyers do with cases? Some give cases to new attorneys working for insurance defense firms so that they can get experience trying cases. Those cases end up being tried by lawyers who have little or no experience and work for a company geared toward representing the insurance industry.
Why do I tell you all of this? Recently, a long-time client called me to complain about a lawyer they hired to handle their case. He had settled it for what they felt was a paltry sum. The former client had responded to a solicitation letter after a traffic collision. I asked the former client, why did he hire the soliciting lawyer? He said that he assumed that I did not want the case because I did not send him a letter. Quite the opposite is true. I would have been glad to handle his claim. In addition, I believed it was a good claim. Soliciting lawyers spend their energy every day buying police reports from all the local police agencies to gather information and send out their solicitation letters. That is time and energy I sepnd every day working on cases of the clients I have. We refuse to send out letters to crash victims just to get new clients. If you would like proof of our track record, check out our website at www.willislegal.com.
In the last year, we have tried four cases in the trial court. In reality, most attorneys who handle personal injury claims probably don't try one case in a year. those who actually try cases may only try a couple in a year. over the years, we have handled thougsands of cases in trial court, the Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court. We also have been actively engaged with our elected state representatives who craft legislation and policies that effect every Ohioan. We have been asked to lecture on legal issues and educate other lawyers on a statewide basis. Recently, an insurance defense lawyer who does a lot of work for State Farm told me they considered us dangerous. They know that not only will we file a lawsuit when warranted, but we will also actually go to trial. Our successes against this company speak for themselves. Coming from an insurance company "Dangerous" is a high compliment.
The next time you or someone you know gets a solicitation from another lawyer and you think you have a claim, I suggest you seek out a lawyer who spends time working on cases as opposed to the next solicitation letter.