eli5 What makes injury lawyers so common?


You almost never see commercials or advertisments for other types of lawyers. I’m sure there are tons of different types and specialities. Why do you only see advertisments for injury lawyers?

In: 16

That field of law has the most potential for a lawyer to get a big payday. The cases are often going after businesses or organizations that either have deep pockets or good insurance coverage. Basically, the potential for a case to pay well for a lawyer makes advertising worth the expense. It’s possible that just one or two clients that came to them each month could more than cover the cost of advertising. That’s made up numbers but you get the idea.

Edited because auto-correct is my eternal frenemy.

The almighty dollar. It takes very little for an attorney to file cases in injury cases and they typically settle out of court. If they can get your case,no matter how minor, money can be made. Other attorneys are typically sought out for their services.

I’ll share [this answer](https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/22jjz8/comment/cgng6t1/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3) from a lawyer on a 9yr old post asking the same question. I’m not a lawyer but it seems like a good answer.

Another interesting side to this from my own experience: I work in advertising and used to work at an agency with a PI law firm client. We didn’t manage their TV ads but we did manage their digital ads – Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, etc.. Our main goal was lead generation; we wanted to get as many people as possible to fill out a form so that the law firm could then call any qualified leads to learn more about their “case”.

This particular law firm accepted a very small portion of those leads for themselves, usually the ones with the highest chances of winning and/or the ones that were most likely to net the largest settlements. They’re generating hundreds or thousands of leads per month, so they can afford to pick and choose the best ones for themselves (greatest ROI), but PI advertising is also *super* competitive, so winning the largest settlements also helps them say things like “Over $3 billion recovered for our clients!” in their ads.

The other qualified leads they pass on, they sold to smaller law firms.

Big law firm still gets to make some money on every lead sold, small law firm gets access to leads when they may not have the budget available to run their own advertising at the same scale.

Lawyer here. Unlike other areas of law, plaintiffs’ PI lawyers’ client base is the general public. The defense bar are usually paid by insurance companies, who don’t hire lawyers from billboards or TV ads. Family law lawyers (divorce and child custody), criminal defense lawyers, and debtor-side bankruptcy lawyers also market to the public for the same reason.

Corporate lawyers and tax lawyers (like me) have their own business-development methods that generally don’t involve public outreach. You do see some tax controversy firms marketing to the public, but they’re typically handling “the IRS wants me to pay this and I can’t afford it” cases and not “the IRS is reallocating income to me from my Brazilian subsidiary because it wasn’t paying me a fair royalty to license my intellectual property” cases.

(Also, much love to my PI colleagues, but PI is largely “bar-exam law.” All US lawyers take torts, and that’s not necessarily enough to do a competent job, it can give you a decent base to spot issues and do further research. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot more to learn to be a good PI lawyer, but my impression is that to be a minimally competent one doesn’t require much more than what you learned in school, especially if you don’t plan to actually take your own cases to trial.)

Practicing personal injury law is mostly all about negotiating settlements of little car crash cases with insurers.

Contrary to the comment that injury law gives lawyers a big payday, the vast majority of these car crash injury cases are for chump change. So the only way to make money on them is VOLUME.

So you crank through the many little cases, train your staff to handle most of the work, and then ADVERTISE to keep that volume spigot flowing.

Now if you can crank through a huge VOLUME of cases, you might get lucky and really get that rare BIG PAYDAY that they all dream about. But mostly you don’t.

Source: being a lawyer for ambulance chasers and watching “Breaking Bad” (oddly enough, when Saul got his own show he did mostly small time criminal law and not ambulance chasing … go figure)