We have a philosophy of not getting involved in every case that we can possibly take part in. If you have a finger contusion or a sprained toe we are not the right firm for you. When a law firm takes on thousands of cases at a time it often means each lawyer is over worked and often has no clue what is going on with some of their cases. It also leads to a lack of return phone calls. When you have 30 phone calls to return after you get back from court and you feel overwhelmed, you end up not calling a lot of them.
The firms that tend to have these problems are big advertisers. They are on TV, billboards, all over the internet and some even still take on ads in the phone book. Many of them spend more than $1,000,000.00 a year or more to get all of these new clients. They aren’t in the customer service business, they are in the client acquisition business.
There is one central Illinois workers’ compensation law firm that is famous for this big spending and the problems that follow. The head of the firm isn’t a dumb guy from what I hear, but they spread themselves so thin that it creates a lot of problems.
I was recently told that their “solution” to the big client list that they can’t properly manage is to hire “case workers” to handle the case for the clients. These aren’t lawyers, but just staffers who can’t give legal advice or at least they shouldn’t. I’ve been told that you often won’t even speak with a lawyer until it’s time to talk settlement or get ready for trial.
How can this be in the best interest of the client? It can’t. You aren’t just a case number on a file. If you have a serious injury it can feel like your work comp case is your life. You can’t expect your lawyer to be on 24/7 call. You should however expect that if you want to talk to your lawyer they will know about you, your injury, your case, your medical treatment and anything else that might be relevant. Even if a so called case worker is entering what they learn about you in to a data base, that’s not the same as having personal interaction.
Beyond that, if something you tell them doesn’t get entered in to your file it could be really harmful to your case. There’s also the perspective that you are paying 20% at the end of the case because you got legal help. Not talking to an attorney until the last second isn’t legal help.
This doesn’t mean that these firms are filled with bad lawyers. I don’t think that’s true. I just think that if you walk in to a law firm and there are 10 clients waiting in the lobby or if you want to meet with a lawyer, but can’t that it’s a bad sign that the firm has taken on too many files.
By only taking on cases that actually need a lawyer our state wide network of attorneys is able to help more people and deliver real customer service. If you want to see if we can help you, call us at (312) 346-5578 or fill out our form to the right.