In the world of plaintiff’s work, most, if not all, of our clients find themselves injured, harmed or grieving the loss of a loved one for the first time. They are nervous, worried, and clueless as to the legal process we must handle on their behalf. They don’t know about our caseload and, for them, their case is the only one requiring immediate and constant attention.
Recently, I sat down with a prospective client who was unhappy with her attorney. She had come to me seeking to terminate her relationship with her attorney, who had put in a significant amount of time and resources on her car accident case, so that she could hire me instead. Although I was able to reach out to my colleague and mediate their differences, it was an interesting opportunity to observe the needs of the client and the lack of client education by a very experienced, talented, successful yet busy attorney leading to conflict, worry and panic. She said, “my attorney didn’t even tell me how he was going to handle the case. I have no idea what I should expect, and any time I call, my attorney is busy. I had to google ‘how does car accident case work’ to even understand that there is a process with the insurance company and that it takes time.”
A quick visit to the attorney’s website showed that although his firm had a simple, nice website with contact information, specific practice areas, and attorney bios, there were no resources on the website that could have been used to educate their clients.
A personal injury case can be handled differently depending on the experience, focus and choices of a given attorney. Some firms are more equipped to seek a quick settlement, while others will focus on preparing the case for trial. Overall, however, the process must involve collection of evidence, including statements of the parties, correspondence with the insurance company representatives, discovery, possible settlement negotiations, and litigation. Even this basic information, when provided in an organized and clear way to a client can be very valuable in providing guidance and managing the expectations of our clients.
“I now feel bad because had I known about how long it can take for an insurance company to make an offer, I wouldn’t have called his office and said the things I said,” she said. “But, shouldn’t they have told me what to expect?”
Luckily, if planned well and executed tastefully, your website can help you educate your clients and manage their expectations while driving more traffic to your resources. Generalizations may create expectation problems, and no two personal injury cases will be handled the exact same way. But, perhaps, as the people with the J.D.s, we are more qualified to find ways to educate our clients than random reviews and comments on Google.
Arguably, our clients are the most important advertising opportunities for us, and the more informed and educated they are, the better we can manage their expectations. Failing to educate our clients in person shouldn’t be the predictable fate for our practices. At Consultwebs, your full-time online legal marketing consultants work with creative teams to create unique, effective, and easy-to-understand client education tools on your website so that your website can educate your clients on its own. Ask Consultwebs how we can help your firm create resources to help your clients, which will help your practice.