Want the Best Personal Injury Lawyer? Search for These 3 Things in Their Online Reviews
How do you find the right lawyer for you? You want results—a fair settlement or award that will help you move forward with your life. But you also want a lawyer who will treat you with respect and empathy.
There is one skill of phenomenal lawyers that helps with both: communication. The #1 complaint of most dissatisfied clients is that their lawyer doesn’t talk to them enough. Too often they’re left in the dark, wondering what’s happening with their case while their calls go unanswered.
Not only does it make the legal process more frustrating, but poor communication also leads to worse case outcomes. Lawyers who ignore their clients are more likely to miss deadlines, forget key details of the case, and fail to understand the results you really want.
So when you’re talking to friends about a lawyer or combing through online reviews, look for lawyers who are good at communicating. Here are 3 phrases to look for:
1. Quick Responses
When you reach out to a law firm for the first time, how long does it take them to respond? A recent study found that law firms are embarrassingly slow to reply to phone calls and emails from new potential clients. Around 50% of those who contact law firms go days without hearing back and many will never get a response at all
Communicative personal injury lawyers will distinguish themselves from the pack. They’ll get back to you quickly when you first call or email to talk about your case. This tells you something important about them—it shows you they are enthusiastic about representing you. It also speaks well of their ability to begin gathering evidence and information as early as possible. They’re more likely to learn all the details of the incident from you while your memory is fresh, and stay well ahead of any legal deadlines (like the statute of limitations).
But it isn’t just about the first call. Some law firms are highly attentive before you’ve signed on with them—but then seem to forget about you once you’re safely their client.
When reading online reviews, look for those which say the lawyer always got back to them quickly—and stay away from firms with too many reviews complaining that their calls weren’t answered.
2. Frequent Updates
Law firms also need to proactively reach out to you with the latest information. Personal injury cases can move along at uneven speeds. A flurry of activity might be followed by a long wait. This can feel unsettling to clients. Whatever is happening, it’s the law firm’s job to explain your current situation and the likely steps ahead.
Once again, while this communication will help you feel less stressed or confused, it’s also crucial for a successful case. When you stay in close contact, your lawyer will be able to gather your latest medical records as you go through the healing process. Capturing all your expenses and lost income will help you receive a more fair reward or settlement. Regular contact also decreases the chance that a deadline will ‘sneak up’ on the law firm. If they’re frequently reaching out to you, they’re revisiting their case files and keeping an eye on the calendar.
When talking with former clients or reading reviews, look specifically for information about whether the firm reaches out to its clients. Do reviews complain about long stretches of silence or a feeling of being ‘ghosted’? Even if someone received a good settlement for their case, if they rarely heard from the firm during the process, then that success might have been a fluke. Instead, find a firm that will take the time to keep you in the loop.
3. Clear and Compassionate Language
Finally, remember it’s not just about quantity—it’s about the quality of communication as well.
Some lawyers can make your head spin with legal jargon—but good personal injury lawyers can communicate any legal situation in plain language. This is your case, and you need to be in control of what happens. You can’t do that if your lawyer can’t fully explain the situation to you. Even judges prefer plain language to legalese, giving clear communicators an edge in the courtroom.
Most importantly, you deserve a lawyer with empathy. Some personal injury cases bring unexpected challenges and stressful moments. An empathetic lawyer can help you grow through these difficulties. But a communication style that is lacking in empathy can add to the trauma you’ve already experienced.
Empathy is a skill that can’t be faked or replaced. Successful personal injury law requires an empathetic connection. Your lawyer needs to be able to share your story in the most powerful way possible. That means connecting with deep human emotions and needs.
When reading online reviews, look for words like ‘clear,’ ‘easy to understand,’ and ‘caring.’ Avoid lawyers who are described as sounding rushed, bored, or confusing.
At Filevine, we create cutting-edge legal technology to help lawyers succeed. But no technology can replace an honest desire to serve clients. That’s why we love working with skilled and compassionate firms like Accident Lawyers Firm. As their online reviews attest, they go the extra mile to connect with their clients.
Katie Wolf is a writer at Filevine, the operating core for legal professionals. Filevine’s technology helps firms get more done with less effort and frees them to focus fully on the needs of their clients.