Why Accident Victims Call Law Firms

by David Rumsey | June 6, 2013

Here in P & D, we don’t do anything by accident. Drawing from published reports, call data, and analysis of competitor spots, even our most experimental work is based on hands-on experience and trusted research.

And whenever the available info becomes a little stale, we’re not afraid to do some heavy lifting for the sake of fresher research.

That’s what happened in 2010 when we conducted a hidden survey in which callers to 10 different law firms were asked a single question:

“As an accident victim, what are you most concerned about right now?”

Some 500 responses later, here’s what we learned.

Surveys: Timing Is Everything

Before discussing the results, let us say a quick word about surveys. They’re tricky. You need to understand their methods and limitations before dabbling in them. That’s especially true when your data pool only consists of accident victims. Here’s why.

After an accident, injured people are on an emotional roller coaster. Incredible amounts of stress cause their moods and attitudes to change by the minute. So you may be thinking, “Can’t you just wait ’til they calm down?” Nope. If you wait too long to survey them, time may cause them to gloss over the real reasons they called.

Since cj Advertising is in the direct-response ad biz, we felt that earlier was better—stress be damned. So we asked 10 participating law firms to embed our key question into their intake call scripts, the earliest interaction for any Potential New Client (PNC) and one where the participants choose to initiate the contact.

The cj research team gathered, categorized, and filtered the total responses into five separate points of focus: total responses, gender of caller, time between accident and call, calls made by a non-injured party, and intake score (the triage system some law firms use to prioritize calls).

Highlights of the Results


Medical Concern No. 1

Medical bills and medical injury consistently dominated the results no matter how the data was filtered. Men, women, early calls, late calls… it didn’t matter. If combined together as a larger category, medical-related answers made up a whopping 53 percent of the responses.

Money: Losing It Is Scary

When combining medical bills, money, and lost wages into a super-category, responses about financial concern totaled 33 percent.

Cars Matter

The total responses that mention car repair topped out at 17 percent. The likelihood of car responses rose in calls made closer to the time of the accident, as those people still had unresolved transportation issues.

If It’s Not One Thing…

Even though the callers were only asked what they were “most concerned about,” a hefty 42 percent gave multiple answers. The growing anxiety of rapidly compounding problems could be a trigger unto itself.

Gender Neutral

The gender of the 500 callers skewed slightly female at 52 percent. Though women were three times more likely to mention insurance companies and men were a tad more likely to mention work-related concerns, the rest of the responses were surprisingly consistent across gender lines.

Friends and Family

A solid 19 percent of the respondents were calling on behalf of someone other than the injured party. These “friends and family” callers were female 61 percent of the time, were more likely to call promptly within 30 days of the accident, and more likely to pass the sniff test by passing each firm’s respective “patch-through” score threshold.

Hope you enjoyed the research. For us, it was a labor of love that has inspired plenty of new creative concepts and renewed our interest in some of the old. If you have any questions about our methodology or results, just give us a jangle.