A TV commercial can be an unwelcome nuisance on your TV screen, or it can be an informative message that provides you with valuable information such legal services provided by lawyers who specialize in a particular field. The growing list of advertisements now includes motorcycle lawyer TV commercials that appeal to motorcyclists and aim to connect with them as fellow riders. But who are these advertisers and how can you remember all of them? More important, how do you know who to call. Whether you are an intrigued motorcyclist or a casual observer, there are so many television commercials that it’s hard to keep track of them and who’s appearing on which ad. To confuse matters, not just lawyers are running these ads. An ad can be placed by a firm, association, or group. Take a recent television commercial about motorcycle lawyers that you’ve seen. What do you recall about it? Was it a local lawyer in your community? Was it a nearby law firm in your area? Or was it a national marketing association or group? You may be asking yourself what exactly is an association or group that markets legal services.
Associations have inundated our living rooms with national ads designed to generate phone calls from new clients, which they then distribute to member law firms throughout the country who subscribe as paying members to receive the client’s case. Such an association will typically have lawyers in multiple cities and regions and will send your legal matter to the motorcycle lawyer with whom the organization has agreed in advance to send all cases of clients in the city or region where the lawyer is located. They have a lot of money to spend and create advertisements that are enjoyable to watch, pleasing to the senses, and appeal to the comradery among bikers. It’s a system that can work well in a perfect world and it’s certainly possible that you respond to a national ad and are connected with a lawyer who is an exceptional advocate. It is also a real possibility that you will miss other more qualified attorneys near you and who may give you more personal attention.
One drawback of hiring legal counsel through a TV commercial is that you, the client, may be dealing with a large national association that may not give you the same personal attention as a smaller law office. A large national group or association can run a commercial on TV that may appear to you to be an ordinary motorcycle lawyer commercial, yet in reality it is a company that functions as a referring entity. How can you tell the difference? Let’s start by looking at an example. A professional association creates a catchy name and runs a television ad aired nationally to build strong brand recognition of that name. The association has offered membership to law firms throughout the country and has member firms who pay a fee in exchange for referrals and are expecting the referral of new clients’ accident cases. You call the number on the television commercial and are connected with a member firm. It can be difficult to tell whether the commercial was produced by a motorcycle lawyer on TV connecting with people in his or her community through a local television station, or by a national group or association that runs ads all over the country and then refers your legal matter to a member firm in your area. In order to differentiate between the two, you can start by going to the website advertised on a television commercial and read about the organization. You might be surprised to find that what you thought was a motorcycle lawyer on TV is actually a large association that essentially acts as a marketing company and distribution hub for gathering new client cases and sending them out to member firms that pay money in order to receive the referrals. You can also research the name of the attorney or law firm you are referred to and see whether the person you are hiring is the same motorcycle lawyer that you saw on TV.
An association running motorcycle attorney TVs ads isn’t necessarily a bad thing; you may be fortunate and referred to an excellent attorney if the member firm who happens to receive leads for your area happens to be a top-rated attorney. But it might be the case that attorney you get is simply the firm who was paying money to receive your case. You could be missing the opportunity to hire many other motorcycle lawyers who are potentially more qualified, will provide better client service, and can help you recover the maximum financial compensation for your injuries.
Lawyers primarily get their business from one of two sources: (1) referrals from former clients and fellow attorneys; or (2) mass advertising, including television commercials, radio commercials, billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other methods of disseminating information to the general public. Those who regularly receive new legal matters referred by past clients and attorney colleagues rarely find the need to mass-market their services. They are usually solo practitioners or smaller firms that represent a few clients at a time. They don’t undertake an excessive number of accident cases at one time so that they can give each client as much personal attention as possible. The ones that mass-market using an ad directed to the general public are usually larger firms, where you may or may not receive the same level of personal attention as you would with a smaller law firm. What is suggested by this is that a lawyer who is not a motorcycle attorney on TV may be more able to give you the one-on-one attention that you deserve and need.
Some advertisers chose to supplement their television commercials with one or more billboards posted around town aim at grabbing the attention of passing motorcyclists. In San Diego, as in other cities, there are plenty of such billboards. Some of them are very visually appealing and memorable, especially to motorcyclists. Frequently they are placed by national associations who have large amounts of money to spend on advertising, including paying for billboards. Few solo practitioners or smaller law offices can afford the expense of paying for billboards. Also, the high price of billboards carries a high cost that ultimately must be borne by somebody.
As with a TV commercial, a billboard carries a high cost that ultimately must necessarily be passed on to consumers in some form or another. In the context of legal services, the cost to a consumer is usually reflected in higher legal fees paid by the firm’s clients; had the advertising firm not incurred the additional cost of an legal ad, they could have charged their clients a lower fee. All other things being equal, you should logically expect to pay a higher fee (larger percentage of your financial recovery) to a motorcycle lawyer whom you’ve seen on a TV commercial than to one whom you found through word of mouth. It should also be noted that this is merely a logical assumption and not an absolute fact; it may not necessarily always be the case. The only way to know a particular law firm’s fee is to call and ask them on a case-by-case basis or to see a copy of their retainer agreement.
The foregoing are important considerations in determining whether to hire a lawyer whom you’ve seen on a television commercial, billboard, or other form of mass media, versus one you’ve come across through more traditional means such as word of mouth. Always research the firm on the internet, including the website listed on the commercial or ad, to make sure you are fully informed about their services. Also, during your first phone call, it is imperative that you ask to speak with the lawyer who will be handling your case. You want to make sure that he or she will always be available to speak with you when you have questions.
If you are an injured motorcyclist, call us now and speak directly with the attorney who will answer all of your questions and handle your case from start to finish. The same lawyer will stay with you throughout the entire process and will give you personalized attention from your very first phone call until your matter is successfully concluded. Call us at (619) 255-3900.