100% success rate, 97% win rate! We win 9 out of 10 of our cases!
You see it everywhere. Attorneys are proud of how many injury compensation or disability cases they win. But, what are they really advertising?
Are they suggesting that by hiring them you have a 97% chance of winning your case? Are they saying that they are 100% better than other lawyers you could hire?
This is a marketing trick plain and simple, and if you’re looking for an attorney – it’s the wrong question to ask.
I’m not going to beat around the bush – I’ve lost clients because I’ve refused to answer this question. But, do I know how many cases my firm has won this year and, do I know how many millions of dollars I’ve recovered for my clients desperate to make ends meet? You betcha, because my livelihood, my team’s and every client whose case I’ve accepted depends on it. I can even tell you how many cases each attorney in my office has won, and which medical conditions were considered by which judge.
This is vitally important information to constantly improve the way we serve our clients. But, it’s also a nonsensical thing to talk about with a prospective client. Why? Because I can control my win rate. Nothing could be easier, all I have to do is fire every client who I think has a chance of losing their case.
This is a sound business strategy. If you spend all of your time only on the cases you know you’ll win, then as an attorney, you’ll earn more money. But this is bad in the long run for clients and it’s bad for attorneys. It means that only the “easiest” cases will have the benefit of representation, when the people who need it the most – the people with challenging cases that demand grit and creativity from their attorney, will have to go it alone.
But that’s not a great result, and that tells you something about the lawyers who boast their win rates in their ads.
Maybe there is a unicorn out there. A savant of an attorney who takes everything who walks through her door and wins them all, but I haven’t met her (and I’d probably hire her tomorrow). But the reality is, the folks who crow about winning all their cases are really boasting about how little work they have to do.
I don’t win all of my cases. But, I win the vast majority of my cases. Our office works mostly on contingent fees, and we only get paid when we succeed in getting our clients a successful outcome. So, we’re invested with you, and we wouldn’t survive if we didn’t win most of the time. But, we don’t win 100%, 97%, or anything close to such a ridiculous number, and I’m proud of that. I’ve gotten long term disability clients from cases I’ve lost. Sometimes, you get a crappy Social Security judge. But sometimes, all the evidence in the world won’t change the deck stacked against you, but the cases I remember the most are the ones where I stood shoulder to shoulder with my clients against impossible odds, believed in them and went down swinging together.
We win most of our cases because we have to. But when we lose, because a tough case we believed in didn’t fall the way we thought it should, we don’t fire our client – we appeal, and we keep after it until we’ve exhausted every reasonable avenue, because the one thing we will tell anyone who calls: we don’t take cases we don’t think we can win, and for most of our work, we earn nothing unless we do. But “win rate” will never be the right question. “What are the problems with my claim, and how would you plan on fixing them?” is a much better question to ask.
If you need an evaluation of your claim, or just want to hear me rant about meaningless statistics, give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.
Rich Frankel is the managing partner of Bross & Frankel. He is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars. He has focused exclusively on disability and social security benefits since 2005.
Mr. Frankel joined what is now Bross & Frankel after having watched his father struggle with disability, fighting a lengthy illness. Mr. Frankel founded the firm’s veteran’s law practice and substantially grew the social security disability practice, focusing Bross & Frankel’s ability to fight for all of the disability benefits available to his clients.
Mr. Frankel additionally fights for clients in court, obtaining frequent victories in Social Security appeals and against insurance companies in Federal court.