Join us as we debunk the top five misconceptions personal injury attorneys face.
Personal injury law is filled with misconceptions and assumptions — many of which hold a grain of truth to them. The truth is that what used to be considered normal working conditions and challenges of personal injury attorneys have now become the stuff of legend thanks to advances in technology and case management software.
Here are five myths and truths of the modern personal injury law firm.
Myth: Personal injury attorneys need a lot of employees.
There’s a common belief that personal injury lawyers need a lot of employees at their firms to handle a large number of cases. The myth of the large staff comes from the idea that personal injury cases require a lot of manpower between tracking down evidence, communicating with clients, gathering data, and collecting on payment. And, it’s true, there’s a lot of work to be done on these cases. But many law firms are starting to rethink how much of the work can be automated and lessen the need for excessive staff.
Fact: Having the right case management software helps you manage a large number of cases without needing to hire more people. From automating workflows to using AI to help determine which personal injuries to take on, technology is certainly becoming a popular way to keep costs low.
Myth: Paperwork and long lead times are simply a part of personal injury law.
When people think about personal injury law, some people fixate on the idea of lengthy investigations and cases that seem to drag on. And we get why this myth is so popular. Personal injury requires lawyers and staff to work around clients’ medical appointments and work lives. Attorneys also have to contend with large organizations like insurance companies.
Fact: Manual paperwork, physical signatures, and scheduling used to be a big part of the personal injury game. Now, there are new tools and features of case management software that allow attorneys to build content libraries with their most-used documents, set up document sharing in client portals, and offer calendar integration tools that make paperwork and scheduling seamless and speedy.
Myth: All of your meetings with clients should be face-to-face.
The principles of law, order, and justice are foundational to our society, and nobody takes it lightly. And when dealing with the prospect of someone paying a large fee, serving jail time, or completing some other form of compensation for wrongdoing, it only seems right to go through all of the necessary motions in person.
Fact: The truth is law firms now have the freedom to choose which meetings to conduct in–person and which meetings they’d like to take remotely, and it’s all a result of the pandemic. While there had been small steps toward virtual law offices in the past decade, the legal sector probably wouldn’t have decided to take some of its most important meetings virtually. But after the world was forced to go remote, we saw depositions and trials successfully run from afar.
There will always be meetings that you or your clients will prefer to hold face-to-face, and that’s ok. The beauty is that personal injury lawyers can now feel justified in scheduling some or all of their meetings using a video conferencing tool if that’s what works best for their cases. This saves law firms and their clients time and makes legal services accessible to more people.
Myth: Personal injury attorneys should expect to spend a lot of time trying to reach their clients.
No matter what your profession, good communication is key. Some could argue that this is especially true for attorneys. Lawyers and their staff are expected to communicate complicated legal processes and ideas in a way that makes sense and have a lot of work to do between interviews, scheduling, and investigation.
As we’ve already established, dealing with personal injury cases can be tricky since you’re dealing with multiple entities. But communicating with clients is no longer the lengthy, cumbersome process it used to be.
Fact: There are a lot of modern ways to communicate with clients beyond a face-to-face meeting or a phone call including email, text, video call, or even an app. Good case management software will give you the ability to use one or a couple of these alternative forms of communication. A great system will allow you to reach your clients using all of these methods. Bonus points if you can send automatic reminders for upcoming meetings, outstanding paperwork or signatures, and payments.
Myth: Bill collection takes up the majority of personal injury attorney’s time.
Ah, bill collection. It’s probably the least liked task of any law firm. It’s partly because many people don’t like asking for money, but collecting payment used to be painful because of the mailed checks, physical signatures on contracts, etc. But it’s a new day when it comes to law firms getting paid!
Fact: Online payments and reminders are making collection an easy, smooth process. Some case management software even enables clients to set up payment options in their online portals and pay using an app.