purchase, george & murphey.

purchase, george & murphey.


Erie Accident Lawyers Lawyer Advertising Video Goes Too Far

August 17, 2010

I practiced for 15 years without giving much of a thought to lawyer advertising. But when I left my big firm for a solo practice and then joined my partner in a joint effort to successfully represent injured people, injury lawyer advertising became a topic that is never too far from my thoughts.

The advertising challenge for Pennsylvania injury lawyers, I think, is to be effective, informative and dignified. Too often, in my view, Pennsylvania accident lawyers sacrifice all else in the quest to be effective. Images of cars crashing, flying through the air and dollar bills cascading around; messages that Pennsylvania car accident lawyers are cartoonish thugs who achieve their ends via sophomoric bullying tactics; and “quick cash now” messages all demean our profession, lessen what we do to help people who are truly injured and taint juries against legitimately injured people.

Still, we recognize that it is impossible to escape criticism. Even in our effort to use Pennsylvania car accident and personal injury education as a method of advertising we have been criticized for going too far. So, we don’t reflexively judge other lawyers just because we see them doing something different.

Something I saw this morning has left me conflicted and I would welcome your thoughts. I ran across an injury lawyer website this morning (from outside Pennsylvania) that features a video of a terrible pedestrian accident . I don’t know what happened to the poor soul in this video but it certainly appears to be a fatal accident.

My initial action was outrage. I thought it was inappropriate to trade off an image of such a terrible human tragedy. Then I thought about it more. Part of our struggle is to remind people of the human element of personal injury and wrongful death. Too often our juries fail to identify with the injured plaintiff and see them only as stereotypes or statistics. So, we constantly try to remind people of the human impact of injury and loss. This video certainly has an impact at a visceral level. Does it serve a purpose beyond merely driving eyes to the website?

What do you think of the video ? Does it go too far? Or does its undeniable emotional impact help to remind people that the cynical skepticism about Pennsylvania car accident victims urged by insurance companies is a thin defense in the face of the harsh reality of car accident injuries?