How to Address Personal Injury Clients’ Biggest Concerns
It’s important to make your personal injury clients feel informed and comfortable – especially if they have major concerns about the case. Providing clients with more communication and more support will allow them to communicate with you more efficiently, make them feel better throughout the process, and ultimately encourage them to leave you better reviews (and provide you with more referrals).
So what’s the best way to address your personal injury clients’ biggest concerns?
Improving Your Approach
First, you’ll want to improve your approach. Talking to clients and working with them the right way will boost your rapport and improve your results.
- Actively listen. When resolving concerns, it’s tempting to do a lot of talking. But it’s often more valuable to actively listen. Active listening will give you a chance to hear out all your clients’ biggest concerns; once you have a better understanding of their experiences and perspectives, you’ll be able to give them better, more personally tailored advice. Additionally, active listening shows that you care and that you’re paying attention, which can help build trust and rapport with your clients.
- Remain patient. Next, try to remain patient. If a client has a major concern about their financial future or the development of the case, it’s not going to go away once they hear a couple of persuasive sentences; in fact, if you’re working too quickly or concisely, you might come off as dismissive. Addressing concerns is a process that necessarily takes time, so be prepared to deal with that.
- Sympathize. You’re a lawyer, not a therapist – but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide emotional support. It’s important to show and express sympathy for your client, especially if they’re talking to you about difficult issues. Think about how you would feel if you were in their position and demonstrate some solidarity. It can go a long way to establish trust – and open the door to more communication.
- Don’t assume. You’ve likely had significant experience with many clients who have been in a similar position, but it’s important not to assume that you have all the answers. You don’t know what this client, specifically, is going through, and you don’t know exactly what the right approach for them will be. Remain open-minded and try to treat each client as the unique individual they are.
- Help when you can (but know your limits). There are some hard limits for lawyers looking to provide assistance to their clients. You may not be able to provide them with direct financial assistance. You can’t make the settlement close any faster. And you may have ethical or personal concerns about providing certain types of help. However, within these limits, it’s advisable to help your clients as much as you can, in whatever ways you can.
The Biggest Concerns to Address
Using these techniques and approaches, you can work effectively to address your personal injury clients’ biggest concerns, such as:
- Competency concerns. Some clients will be skeptical of your competency, or your ability to represent them well. The best way to counter this is to demonstrate your abilities with evidence. Talk about your education and previous experience, or explain how you’ve won similar cases in the past. It’s also important to be as transparent as possible, answering their questions directly and straightforwardly. Hopefully, you’ll be able to prove your abilities over time; if you can win your client a big settlement, any concerns they have about your abilities will disappear.
- Timeline questions. You’ll also face timeline concerns from your clients. It can take many weeks for a case to be settled, and many weeks after that for your client to receive their settlement money. Unfortunately, you probably won’t have concrete answers for your clients; you won’t be able to give them a solid, reliable timeline. Instead, it’s a good idea to set conservative expectations based on your experiences in the past and point out that there will always be a degree of uncertainty. That may not be the answer your client wants to hear, but it will help them adopt the right mentality for the process.
- Case and process confusion. Personal injury cases can be complex and confusing, even for someone immersed in the industry. Imagine what it’s like for a client navigating this field for the first time. If your client is confused about the process, or if they don’t understand what’s going on in the case, try to educate them in simple, approachable terms – and make them feel comfortable asking questions when they don’t understand something.
- Recovery stress. Personal injuries range from minor inconveniences to life-changing debilitations. It can take months, or even years, to physically recover. There’s not much you can do to facilitate a faster or smoother recovery, but you can show support for their pain and stress – and possibly refer them to talented medical professionals you know.
- Financial woes. Your client may have a large settlement coming at some point in the future, but their bills are stacking up now. Most of your clients will struggle to make ends meet, especially if they’re out of work. One of the best ways to address this concern is to recommend a trustworthy pre-settlement funding provider – so your client can get access to capital immediately.
- Communication issues. Some clients will have concerns about your ability to communicate, or about your transparency as an organization. The best way to address this concern is with consistent provision of good communication. Write and speak articulately, answer questions fully, and make yourself available as much as you can; soon, you’ll prove there’s nothing to be concerned about.
Financial stress is going to have a major impact on most of your clients. You can help them feel more confident and comfortable by pushing for a big settlement, but in the meantime, one of the best things you can do is recommend a reliable provider of pre settlement funding. For more information, or to learn more, contact us today!