5 Things You Should Know About Lawyer Referral Companies
A referral service is designed to send your claim to a lawyer near you. But will this be the best lawyer for your claim?
- by Adidem
- Aug. 18, 2019
What is a lawyer referral services company?
A legal referral company is designed to find personal injury claims and bring those claims to the lawyers they work with. For example, if attorney A is a personal injury lawyer in Houston and works with a Houston legal referral company, the referral company will try to find accident claims in Houston and then send them to attorney A in exchange for either a per claim, monthly or annual fee.
A lawyer referral service provides a nice convenience because you don't have to go searching for a lawyer in a particular area in a particular field, but the problem is how do you know if the lawyer you are referred to is a good attorney? How do you know you are paying a fair price or if that lawyer is going to get you the full value of your claim (how do you know the proper settlement amount or value for your claim?). The problem with legal referral companies is you don't. You trade convenience in exchange for the chance or hope that you are being sent to a good lawyer at a fair price. Hope is often not a prudent strategy, especially when you are dealing with something as important as recovering damages from an accident.
example of attorneys.com (a legal referral company)
How do legal referral companies work?
A lawyer referral service makes money by sending claims to lawyers. It's that simple. To generate revenue, that referral company needs to find claims or legal matters to send to the lawyers that company works with. Legal referral companies typically don't charge you (the personal looking for an attorney) anything as the revenue is generated entirely from lawyers they work with.
There are a few ways that a legal referral company may charge law firms:
- An annual fee in exchange for exclusive referrals in an geographic area. This means a referral company may charge a lawyer in a geographic area a certain amount per year (say $10,000 per year as an example) for all accident or injury claims that referral company receives that occurred in a specific area.
- A fee per claim. A referral company may work with a number of attorneys in a geographic area and that referral company may send your claim to a lawyer on a rotating basis or to the lawyer that is going to pay the referral company the most for your claim. For example, a referral company may work with 5 personal injury lawyers in Houston. If a personal injury claim comes to the referral company's attention in Houston, that referral company may ask which lawyer or law firm will pay the most for the claim or it may simply send your claim to one of the lawyers it works with in exchange for a fee.
- Monthly or annual fee to multiple lawyers. Lawyers may pay different ranges of fees based on the number of claims they request from the referral company or for a certain percentage of the referral company's overall claims.
How do I know if I'm working with a legal referral service?
Your first indication is if the website you are on or the company you are working with asks you some basic questions about your claim, finds out where the claim occurred or where you and then refers you to a single lawyer. If this occurs, you are likely working with a legal referral service (that is companies other than Adidem!).
Here are some examples of legal referral companies:
There are a number of other examples, however, all online legal referral companies will have similar traits.
Example of a legal referral company (legalmatch.com)
What is the benefit of using a lawyer referral company?
Convenience. Lawyer referral companies know that finding a lawyer can be hard. Referral companies also know that the legal industry can be intimidating and complicated and they know some people will be happy just to find a lawyer that can help them. This is what referral companies specialize in, providing a simple convenience to you.
Lawyer referral companies also know that it can be difficult for lawyers to both practice law and find cases. They try to solve and capitalize on this problem and provide cases to lawyers in exchange for a fee.
What are the risks of using a legal referral company?
There are three primary risks of using a lawyer referral company. Those risk are:
- How do you know you are being referred to the best personal injury lawyer for your claim?
- Like any industry, there are high quality service providers and low value providers. Attorney referral companies are no different.
- Why should part of the value of your claim be sent to a legal referral company? Shouldn't that money come to you? You are the one who has been injured.
So when using an attorney referral service, you are assuming the risks associated with not being sent to the best lawyer for your claim. There are a number of factors that are important for your claim, including the potential value of your claim, the cost to hire the lawyer, the time it will take to settle your claim and how much the claim will settle for. To find this information out before you hire a lawyer, you should speak with a number of attorneys before you decide who to hire. If you are referred to a lawyer through a legal referral service, you are hoping that the lawyer knows the true value of your claim, will settle the claim for a fair value and that you are paying a reasonable fee for that lawyer. As noted above, hope is not a strategy and you are assuming significant risks by using a legal referral service.
Second, some legal referral service companies audit or interview their lawyers, others do not. Some referral companies are only interested in the fee they generate from lawyers while others spend time insuring only quality lawyers use their service. If you use a legal referral service company, how do you know if your claim is being sent to a quality lawyer? Unfortunately you don't, and you won't know until your claim is resolved (which means it might be too late!).
Is Adidem a legal referral company?
Adidem is not a traditional legal referral company. If fact, we are not really a referral company as we work completely opposite to how legal referral companies traditionally have operated. How you ask?
We believe one of the benefits of the internet is bringing people information, more information than they had without using the internet. Adidem is designed to bring you more information and transparency in the process of hiring a lawyer than you've ever had before. We understand that to make a good decision, you need need to have the right information. With that in mind, we confidentially take your personal injury claim information to lawyers using Adidem (who have agreed to keep your information confidential) and allow them bid for your work. We also don't restrict the lawyers who can use Adidem. We think you should have access to the entire legal market so you can decide who is best for your claim. We take those bids and legal proposals and show you all the information with respect to your claim. You can see what each lawyer estimates your personal injury claim to potentially be worth and what it will cost to hire each lawyer. Your review the proposals and decide who to hire. It's that easy and best of all it's free for you.