Trial lawyers and aggregators increasingly spend large sums of money on television, digital, and print advertising to recruit new clients for class action lawsuits. In the third quarter of 2019 alone, it is estimated that more than $250 million were spent on nearly 3.7 million ads for local legal services or soliciting legal claims across the United States. Much of this advertising is conducted by aggregators: businesses that recruit potential plaintiffs and then sell their information to law firms.

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Why It’s a Problem

Consumers see doomsday ads about the lethal effects of medications or even general medical injury, and consequently stop using their medicine. This is often done without consulting a doctor, causing health problems for the patients and increasing litigation risk for the product manufacturers.

  • These over-the-top advertisements from personal injury attorneys with catchy jingles and toll-free numbers pose a serious danger. These ads undermine the simple notion that physicians and health care providers, not personal injury lawyers or the “aggregators” who run the ads for the lawyers, should dispense medical advice.
  • The reason why trial lawyers pump significant money into these ad buys is because, armed with more clients, they can boost settlements and payouts when they go after large corporations. This leads to larger contingency fees for themselves.
What Can be Done

Legislation is needed that places reasonable regulations regarding deceptive or misleading lawsuit or legal services advertisements.