Bernie Gluckstein on Personal Injury Firms and TV Ads
Today's marketplace is a competitive one. Personal injury law firms often go to great lengths to land clients, hence that unflattering term, "ambulance chasers". Turn on 680News and you are bound to hear that "This news segment is sponsored by ___ Personal Injury Lawyers". There are many different law firm names we could have posted in there, but to be courteous, we won't. Turn on CP24 on your television and you will find much of the same.
Monday's issue of the Law Times featured an article entitled "Is it OK for personal injury firms to run TV ads" and you will notice a familiar name (and face!) in the article. Bernie Gluckstein. Bernard Gluckstein, Q.C., Specialist in Civil Litigation, practising since 1962, remembers when the Law Society of Upper Canada prohibited advertising.
"We learned to make sure that we gave great client service and relied on our clients to refer further cases to us. Also, by giving good service, the heath-care professionals got to know who you were." - Bernie Gluckstein
Bernie remarks that the law firms who spend considerable amounts of money on advertising tend to be the younger firms and the public don't know who the "good firms" and "bad firms" are. The author's article, Robert Todd, mentions that a firm's approach to advertising reflects its target clientele. Meaning law firms interested in obtaining a high volume of clients to represent on non-complex, low-value matters are interested in putting their names on TV, billboards or radio ads. Clients should be wary of who they hire.
Not every lawyer who claims they are an expert is an expert. Check credentials. Bernie notes, "If somebody puts themselves out as an expert in a particular field and if they handle the case and they don't handle it to the extent that an expert would handle it, they're opening themselves out to a malpractice suite."
Hospitals have recently informed their staff members, such as doctors, nurses and social workers that they aren't able to or allowed to refer patients to specific lawyers. This means now law firms will use more subtle advertising and sponsor educational conferences or symposiums at hospitals. This is mutually beneficial to both parties as the lawyers get the increased exposure and promotion of their services while the hospitals benefit from the sponsorship funding.
Hospital patient lounges are another investment that law firms make and these are smart investments. Patients enjoy spending time away from their rooms during their hospital stay. For example, the Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers Patient Lounge at St. John's Rehab Hospital has 2 computers with internet, a television, comfortable chairs, couches workspace and is a popular place with those recovering. If a law firm happens to get a referral through their own patient lounge, that is an added bonus. In any sector, businesses will always be competing with each other. If you've ever picked up a copy of the Hospital News, though, there are countless ads for law firms across Ontario. The competition never ends. Just remember, it's not about the loudest advertisement, earn your reputation. Entrust your case to lawyers that are competent and who genuinely care.
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