Why so many self-employed PI attorneys? Forum

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Why so many self-employed PI attorneys?

Post by Beedaniels » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:01 pm

I have noticed there's an overflow of self employed attorneys who work personal injury cases, or make PI the bulk of their legal services. Is this one of the areas with the biggest payout? I know you have to give a little more here in order to receive (i.e. putting your own money at risk for the case), but I am seriously thinking about this type of law, as it seems like it can be lucrative.

Then again, I may stay away because it also seems incredibly boring.

Are there any lawyers here that can explain how making money here works? I went to breakfast with a PI lawyer a few weeks ago that did not speak much on his cases, but I had questions on how he knew if he had a million-dollar case, or what percentage of a claim does he usually keep (33% I think is standard for this). What are/were some of your successes and failures in this arena?


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Re: Why so many self-employed PI attorneys?

Post by ibelieveicanfly123 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:20 pm

Less resource intensive: one-person firm with a secretary/helper can probably take on multiple clients, each with a few thousand dollars pay-out. Take the case through discovery and if it's worth anything, settle and get paid. Ideal for small firms. Obv bigger firms could use the same model even more efficiently.

Less upfront cash: most PI clients' cost are medical and would be paid via medical lien. Court cost is trivial and expert witnesses is non-existent but for the most lucrative cases. The firm only need to invest sweat equity upfront.

More time in court: comes with juggling 20 or more cases, if that's your thing.

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Re: Why so many self-employed PI attorneys?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:50 pm

I worked before for a small PI firm, and the success of it can vary drastically depending on the season and location. Where I worked they rarely litigated, it was more about taking easier cases, settle them and take about 33% of the settlement. You pretty much depend on the number of clients and length of cases. Some cases the firm took had really small settlements, but the firm took them anyway because the market in the city is saturated with PI lawyers, so the firm took an approach of taking whatever they could get. Most clients came from word of mouth or from google searches, so the firm focused on that for advertising. We were never that busy and, when it got slow, the money just wasn't there and staff would go home early, unpaid.
Most of the work was just dealing with insurance adjusters and getting medical liens/bills, it was more about negotiating than anything, and rushing cases as much as possible to get the settlement. Some larger firms that do PI take a similar approach, so it's just a PI mill and you settle as many as you can.
An approach the firm took to make money was making deals with chiros and PT to get a cut from referrals. As for cases, we pretty much got an idea of how much they were worth depending on type of injuries, if they were insured, the type of auto insurance the other party had, etc.
The firm didn't make that much really, but had some more success than other solo practitioners in the area because it has been around for a long time. I noticed some younger attorneys struggling to set up their solo practice in the area just because of how saturated it got, but it can work. It took a couple of years for the owner of the firm I worked for to finally be able to hire an assistant, then expanded to a couple more with time
I hope some of this is helpful to you


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Re: Why so many self-employed PI attorneys?

Post by gekko » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:25 am

If you had a larger more resource intensive case would you sell it to another firm or bring on a co-counsel, essentially getting rid of the work? Where I am it's well known that most P.I. firms that are advertised heavily don't really do a lot of the work themselves but are more of a marketing group. To what degree if any was this the case for you?

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