This generally refers to the fact that no attorney fee will be due to the attorney unless and until the case is settled or won at trial. However, the consumer is not told that there may in fact be fees and expenses. There are many costs involved in a personal injury case including court filing fees, expert witness fees, and other third party expenses that the attorney may incur and charge to their client. All fees should be clearly covered in your retainer agreement with any attorney you consider hiring.
"Free initial consultation"
This is generally available with most attorneys in cases involving personal injury. Nevertheless, many attorneys continue to brag about this offer in their advertising.
"Member of the Million Dollar Roundtable or Million Dollar Advocate Club"
This indicates that the attorney may have settled a case for $1,000,000.00 or more sometime in his legal practice. This impressive figure might grab your attention, but it says nothing about the competence of the attorney, merely showing that they represented someone who suffered a very serious loss or injury.
"Best Lawyer in Town"
Any lawyer that claims to be the "best" is making an unethical claim. No one can prove such a statement, as no standard is presented and such a claim is precluded by State Bar ethical rules.
"Over 30 years of experience!"
A number of years experience is another meaningless claim we see all too often. The experience could be on cases totally unrelated to your needs and the quality of work performed during this experience could be clearly substandard.
"Former District Attorney"
Claims of experience as a former prosecutor could be of value, if you are charged with a crime. However, such a claim is totally irrelevant in the case of a personal injury.
"You may be entitled to cash for your pain"
This is the kind of claim that can hinder a personal injury case, because such claims can make jury members unsympathetic toward accident victims. Our law is meant to protect injured victims by providing them just compensation for their injuries. It is not a new form of lottery where the ticket is a fender-bender.