You should read personal injury attorney reviews with a critical eye and a few grains of salt.
Personal injury attorney reviews can be particularly useful when choosing which lawyer to hire. However, you need to critically read these reviews and not take them at face or for full value. Even if everything said in the review is true, it may not be the whole story. Therefore, before making a legal decision based entirely on a review, keep the following things in mind:
Many Reviewers Only Post Reviews When Angry
While not an absolute rule of human psychology, if you read reviews, you’ll notice that many of them are negative. There are a lot of positive reviews out there, but most people get motivated to provide a review if they become upset or angry. Remember that happy clients are less likely to positive review, but disgruntled clients are often primed and ready to post something bad.
There Are Two Sides to Every Story
This idea applies to all reviews, not just personal injury attorney reviews. The idea is so common that it’s reached cliché status, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. So the next time you read a negative review about an attorney, remember that if you heard the attorney’s response to that review, your opinion could be drastically different.
Most Reviews Don’t Explain All the Facts
Lawsuits are complex, and there will be a lot going on that the client who writes a review does not fully understand. What might seem like a mistake or neglect may merely be the result of a client who didn’t remember everything his or her attorney told them. Or it could also be a situation where the attorney wasn’t incompetent, stupid or unethical, but perhaps a little inconsiderate. Just because a lawyer doesn’t always do what the client expects doesn’t mean the attorney didn’t listen to the client.
Check the Review’s Location
If the reviews are on the lawyer’s website, you should read the positive reviews with the understanding that the attorney may be editing the comments so they appear more positive. At the very least, the attorney will control which reviews get posted on his or her website. Naturally, the attorney will lean toward including the positive reviews and discarding the negative ones.
On the flip side, if the reviews are on a third party website where the attorney cannot control what reviews get posted, you can read the positive reviews with a less critical eye.
One place for reviews that many do not consider is the state disciplinary board that keeps track of any disciplinary actions against the attorney. While not a “review” in the conventional sense, a prospective client can find a lot of useful information, such as whether the attorney got into trouble for unethical conduct. There is often background information provided to the general public to explain the basis for the attorney getting into trouble.
Just like other review sites, there can be two sides to every story. However, due to the official nature of attorney discipline, you can usually assume that a lawyer who faced public punishment for misconduct did something that the average prospective client would find wrong.
Find out what you need to know about personal injury attorney reviews by calling the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. at (706) 335-2355.