As an automobile accident personal injury lawyer in Stuart and Port St. Lucie, Florida, for the past 21 years, I have watched as the legal landscape has change dramatically both in terms of the law and lawyers. I want to address how lawyers have changed over this time.
Historically, lawyers have confined their law practices to geographic areas with which they were familiar. There was a reason for this: The lawyer knew the “landscape” of the area and could guide a client through the steps necessary to successfully pursue a claim for injuries. This local knowledge was beneficial in the acquisition of quality medical care and services. There were always a couple of lawyers who covered large areas such as an entire state, but this was rare.
Now, more and more sole practitioners and small law firms are advertising that they maintain multiple offices covering large geographic areas. This is a natural consequence of there being more lawyers, aggressive advertising and a limited number of cases.
But are there any disadvantages to an injured client hiring a lawyer who is “not really from here?” I think the answer is “yes”.
If the lawyer you hire isn’t familiar with the local community of medical providers, then the care you receive for your accident-related injuries may actually hurt your case. Believe it or not, there are actually providers out there who dislike accident cases, and if you happen to come under their care, the medical records they keep on you may minimize your injury.
The other problem is a lot of these out-of-town lawyers either have their clients travel long distances to receive medical care, or they “import” doctors from other counties to treat their clients.
Is there a problem with this? Yes, there is. Insurance companies know where doctors are from and how much of their practice involves traveling around to treat patients involved in accidents outside the provider’s region. This is a red flag for insurance companies.
So, what your best course of action? If you get injured in an automobile accident, hire a local law firm like ours and obtain treatment from local medical providers who are well known in the community. This will give you your best chance to make a full recovery in your case, both medically and financially.