About once a week I get a call from some company offering to improve my Web site’s placement on Google. These people offer, for sometimes a lot of money, to spam the Internet on my behalf. It’s very annoying. On the rare occasion that I don’t immediately hang up, I will often ask them if they can guarantee me a good google placement for the search term “Tucson Bike Lawyer.” Invariably they say they can, so long as I hurry.
Now I am seeing the result of these campaigns that have been taken on behalf of other law firms that have jumped on the bicycle law bandwagon. There is for example a Web site for “Tucsonbikeaccidentlawyer” that some enterprising charlatan has set up, which you can pay him to be a member of. Check it out, there’s even a blog! (A really, really boring one.)
And it seems every personal injury attorney is promoting his or her bicycle bona-fides now.
As most of my readers know, I am cutting back my own practice in this area, focussing on just a few cases at a time, but at the risk of tooting my own horn, I would like to make the point that not all personal-injury attorneys are the same when it comes to a bicycle-related collision.
Not long ago I read a posting on an injury-law list-serve by an attorney who had a client who had been struck while in a turning lane. The cyclist had been preparing to make a left turn and was in a left turn lane when he was rear-ended by a motorist and badly hurt.
The attorney who represented the cyclist referred to his client as a “Lance Armstrong wannabe” and was asking the list-serve participants whether it was legal for this bike rider to even be in a turn lane.
I cannot fathom representing someone and showing such disdain for him that I would call him a “wannabe” anything, and the fact this lawyer had to ask a list serve whether his injured client had a right to occupy a turning lane indicates a shocking incompetence. I feel terrible for the man who has this person as his lawyer. And yet sure enough, the lawyer’s Web site identifies the lawyer as a “bike lawyer.” What a load of horse sh*t. It angered me to see that.
So if you are a cyclist and require an attorney to help you with a bicycle-related collision, please don’t rely on a Web label. Ask around. There are plenty of local attorneys who understand the particular challenges cyclists (and, especially, utility cyclists) face. You can always call me and I can recommend people to you, or you can use many other sources. There is a big cycling community in Tucson, and if you ask around they will steer you toward lawyers who know this area and are sympathetic toward the challenges bicyclsts face both out in traffic and in court.
Just don’t be the person whose “bike” attorney has disdain for cyclists and ignorance as to how the laws apply to them.
EDIT: Woops, I should have made clear that none of the lawyers currently advertising on tucsonbikeaccidentattorney.com are the person I referred to above, and for all I know they are all lifelong bicycle advocates who serve their bike clients with exemplary grace and skill.