A recent article by The Toronto Star has shed a bright and public light on the advertising practices and tactics used by some personal injury lawyers in Ontario. You can see the article by clicking here.
The Toronto Star article reveals that certain personal injury lawyers who advertise heavily are mostly interested in advertising, marketing and referring clients to other lawyers for a fee. They may have very little interest in taking on your case and may actually not be experienced when it comes to practising law.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall, or require a lawyer to help with your long term disability case, the best way to find a good lawyer is by word of mouth. If you have a friend, family member or colleague who has hired a lawyer and been pleased with his or services, then you can be confident in your selection. Likewise, if you know a lawyer (for example in preparation of your will or for the purchase of your home), that lawyer may be able to give you the name of a good personal injury lawyer to help with your case.
But what if you don’t know a lawyer or anyone that has been involved in an injury case?
When trying to choose a lawyer, beware of flashy advertising. When searching websites, see if the lawyer is actually based in the city where you live. You may live in Ottawa, Cornwall or Pembroke, but find yourself faced with advertisements and webpages run by lawyers from Toronto. Before contacting a lawyer, dig deeper and find out: are you dealing with a local lawyer who will be able to meet with you or is it a lawyer who will fly into town once a year (and may even charge you for his or her flight)? Is the lawyer someone who knows the community; knows the best doctors and health care professionals in town, or are they merely winging it, in the hope to sign your case? Most importantly, the biggest question you need to answer is whether the lawyer in the advertisement, or who appears on the webpage, is actually going to be involved in your case?
Ultimately if you are going to choose a lawyer based on the representations made in his or her advertisement or webpage, make sure that you are actually going to be dealing with that lawyer. As the Toronto Star article demonstrates, in some cases you will not, and your case could be referred to another law firm for a fee, or simply passed off to another inexperienced lawyer.
Sean Giovannetti only takes cases in Ottawa and the nearby towns of Eastern Ontario. He is always directly involved in your case. For a free no-obligation consultation, Sean can be reached: