Lawyer Referral Services

Overview
Lawyer referral services such as 411-Pain, 1-800-ASK-GARY, Injury Helpline and Total Help are all private, for-profit referral services. These companies refer callers to the attorneys who have paid them a fee.

Flaws
Customers are not referred to attorneys based on the specifics of their case or the merit of the attorney. Instead, attorneys pay a fee to be sent cases by referral services. Most of the people answering phones at lawyer referral services such as 411 Pain or Ask-Gary are not legal or medical professionals. Therefore, it is unlikely a lawyer referral service in Florida will be able to connect someone with the best attorney for their case. It is ill-advised to put such an impactful decision for the client, their family and their friends into the hands of amateurs at a pay-for-play referral service. Rather, it is important the client talks to established attorneys who have experience with cases like theirs. Consequently, the client can then be paired with an attorney who will refer them to the appropriate medical professionals and receive adequate compensation for the client’s claim.

Additionally, lawyer referral services are not fully regulated by the Florida Bar Association. This means that the lawyers referred by these services are regulated by the Florida Bar, however their advertisements do not face the same scrutiny. Often times, lawyer referral services utilize outlandish advertisements that make exaggerated claims that a lawyer would not typically be allowed to use in his or her commercial. Furthermore, previous commercials for 411-PAIN have featured police officers portrayed by actors. These commercials failed to state that the officers were being played by actors and made it appear that police officers were directing viewers to call 411-PAIN.

Controversy
Issues have been raised against the fact that referral services such as ASK-GARY and 411-PAIN refer callers to both attorneys and medical professionals. These issues stem from the numerous allegations of fee-sharing agreements in which referral services and the attorneys partnered with them conspire to drive up medical costs, ultimately benefitting the doctors and lawyers more than the client.
There are currently proposed amendments to the Florida Bar’s code of conduct that would repress this type of collusion. The proposed changes would prohibit attorneys who are partnered with referral services from referring their clients to any person, organization or service that is also associated with said referral service.

Rather than leaving your claim in the hands of a lawyer referral service that may not have your best interests in mind, call experienced attorney Frank Eidson, P.A. at 407-245-2887 (toll free: 888-245-2855) for a free case review. Additionally, you may email Frank personally at frank@frankeidson.com or visit his office at 327 N. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL, 32801.
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