Choosing an Experienced Tampa Car Accident Attorney
411 Pain and Referral Services
They are on busses, on the radio, and on billboards. Lawyer referral services are certainly “locked in your brain” while you are driving in the Tampa Bay Area.
At Butler and Boyd, we don’t belong to any lawyer referral services simply for one reason. Ethics, you’ll find that most quality attorneys do not associate with these services.
- We simply encourage injured people, or those seeking ANY LEGAL ADVICE to call an attorney directly.
- The large referral service companies have a history of ethics problems. We would never want our contact information placed behind a middleman.
- The larger network of referral services are not owned by attorneys at all, they are owned, or were started by chiropractors.
When you dial a referral service you are not reaching an attorney. In fact, by rules of the Florida Bar, these companies can’t employ attorneys at all, this is why they always have a non-attorney spokesperson. They are only call centers taking calls with a catchy number and directing them to attorneys on their ad list. These may not be the most qualified attorneys for your case, or your unique situation.
We don’t encourage drivers to call a middleman after a car accident. It wouldn’t make sense to do that if you can just call a real, experienced attorney first. This is the quickest way to find out if you have a case after an accident, and the quickest way to move forward with it if you do.
Car accidents are serious, and hiring an attorney is a very important decision, not one that should be up to a call center operator picking off a list of paid referrals to send your call to.
411 Pain and Referral Services and Their History with Doctors
411 pain was started by a chiropractor, not an attorney. 1-800 ASK GARY was also started by a doctor, now the company has a different owner, but they still refer accident victims to the originators doctor’s office. Why is this significant? When you file an insurance claim, insurance money is used for medical bills and in some cases, personal damages and restitution. In the past, some of the doctors offices associated with referral services have exhausted the claim money in unneeded doctors office visits, leaving the client with outstanding bills.
An attorney doctor relationship built solely off of insurance gains creates a large conflict of interest for the client as pointed out by Grier Wells, an attorney in Jacksonville who helped expose the issue of referral services to the Florida Bar:
When an attorney walks into a doctors office to speak with an injured person, this doesn’t create a helpful environment for the client. Lawyers have shown up at medical clinics unsolicited to meet accident victims — apparently tipped off by a referral service, said Grier Wells, a Jacksonville lawyer chairing the Bar’s committee. Other lawyers might face a legal quandary: Do they have an allegiance to the client or to a medical provider that’s part of the accident hotline network? “I don’t mean to suggest that all lawyers or all referral services are guilty,” Wells said. “But there’s certainly enough of it to create a big problem.”
Call a real attorney.
Ethical and experienced attorneys are interested in helping the injured with their lives, only encouraging medical treatment when it is absolutely necessary.
We can’t stress this enough. If you are injured in the Tampa Bay Area, call a real car accident attorney with the experience needed for your case.