Because Illinois, and more specifically Chicago, has millions of people, there are many out-of-state attorneys who see our state as a potential cash cow.
So what ends up happening is that law firms from places like Nevada, Florida and other places rent an office in Chicago, place an attorney there and then start to do a ton of advertising. Nothing in their billboards, TV commercials or radio ads make it clear that most of their law firm isn’t in Illinois, that they don’t have a long track record of success in Illinois and in some cases, that the attorneys that are all over the ad aren’t even licensed to practice law in Illinois.
These law firms, in my opinion, don’t care about their clients in Illinois, they care about making money. Our rule of thumb is that we only recommend to you attorneys that we’d recommend to a family member or friend. For us, the client’s best interests come first. For many of these out of state firms it’s about making money and nothing else.
I was reminded of this recently when a woman who was badly injured in a car accident called us. She had hired a law firm that advertises a lot here, but a quick look at their website shows that most of their attorneys are in Florida, not Illinois. She told me her attorney hadn’t answered her questions and wasn’t returning phone calls. I connected her with a Chicago car accident lawyer who has an incredible track record.
This firm, showing that they only look out for themselves, pulled a slimy move when the new attorney called to say they were being let go. They had never received medical records or bills for the client and didn’t know where she was in the recovery process or if the case was ready to settle. But to try to make a quick buck they sent a demand letter to the insurance company, without her permission, offering to settle the case for $300,000. It’s incredibly unethical in my opinion.
The bad news is that more of these firms are on their way. Nothing says that a lawyer can’t have offices in multiple states. But if they are essentially franchising themselves, it’s a red flag and a true sign that they aren’t the best firm for your case.
Beware these firms and make sure you are looking at the website of the lawyer you are hiring before you hire anyone. If you would like our recommendation as to which Illinois personal injury law firms are reputable, care about their clients and get great results, please call us at 312-346-5320 any time to speak with an attorney for free.