Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Thank You To A Certain Attorney TV Advertiser

Recently I settled a case for a client who was injured in a fall at a hospital while recuperating from surgery. After reviewing the extensive medical records, it was my opinion that, due to my client's particular medical history, and some orders that did not appear to be followed, the fall and the injuries sustained were preventable by hospital staff. I filed a lawsuit, took some depositions of the staff involved in his care, and hired a nursing expert to review what happened to cause the fall and determine whether it could have been prevented--all the things that are necessary to pursue a case like this.

We got the case settled for a fair amount shortly before trial. At my initial meeting with the client, he told me that he called two different attorneys/ firms that heavily advertise on TV before he came to see me. The one attorney flatly rejected his case over the phone and the other firm never returned his call. I can't speak for the firm that didn't return the call (maybe someone just didn't get the message on a busy day--it happens to all of us), but I suspect I know why the other attorney rejected his case: it required work and effort.

Hospital fall cases can be tricky. Many falls are preventable and should never happen while others can occur if staff does everything by the book. Each case is different and unique and needs to be evaluated on its own merits. In other words, this case was not a "slam dunk." It had to be reviewed, a lawsuit was required, and a lot of legwork was necessary. I suspect that this attorney recognized all this and decided to pass on the case.

I don't mean to knock all attorneys or firms who advertise on TV. Some firms who advertise have great reputations and produce respectable ads (Canton attorney Allen Schulman comes to mind), while other ads are just plain tastless and embarrasing.

It just goes to show how persons in need of a competent injury attorney or firm really have to cut through the advertising circus and do their homework. In the meantime, I'd like to thank "Mr. TV Advertiser Who Shall Remain Nameless" for rejecting the case. A fair result was reached, and we made a new friend. I guess there's still room for us smaller, non-"high volume" firms. Flying under the radar in a sea of "we'll get huge bucks for you" ads is not such a bad thing...

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