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What Do Safer Streets Mean for Personal Injury Attorneys?

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on December 06, 2016 5:57 AM

It's a good time to be a driver -- or a pedestrian. Our streets have become increasingly safe over the past decade, with traffic fatalities down 23 percent between 2006 and 2014 and injuries dropping 17 percent over the same period. These safety gains are expected to continue, even as Americans drive more total miles every year and despite an uptick in traffic fatalities last year.

This is good news for everyone on the road. But what does it mean for personal injury attorneys whose practices depend on motor vehicle accidents? A new whitepaper by FindLaw Lawyer Marketing has some insights.

MVA Clients Are Becoming Harder to Reach

The white paper, entitled "Traffic Signals: What Safer Roads Could Mean for Your Personal Injury Practice," looks at the impact of falling auto injury rates to determine that "law firms that have staked their futures on motor vehicle accident (MVA) injuries or fatalities may face significant business challenges on the horizon unless they prepare now."

You may expect lower MVA fatalities to leave more survivors needing legal representation, thus resulting in a boom in MVA clients. But that doesn't seem to be the trend. Legal consumers are searching for MVA-related information online at a much lower rate than in the mid-2000's, while high-cost MVA ads make it harder to reach the consumers who are out there.

Bucking the Trends

"The market has changed," the whitepaper notes, "making it more important than ever to act strategically when attempting to connect with potential clients."

There are a few ways lawyers can sustain their MVA practice when faced with difficult market trends. One solid strategy is lawyer directory listings. Yes, just like the lawyer directory listings available here on FindLaw.

While MVA-related searches are down in Google, MVA traffic at FindLaw is increasing. Between 2013 and 2015, FindLaw.com saw its MVA-related traffic grow by 77 percent. MVA searches in our lawyer director jumped 62 percent.

Lawyer directories aren't the only solution, either. Other strategies, like paid lead generation, greater marketing investments, and even supplemental practice areas can also help attorneys respond to reduced MVA demand. And, of course, FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing service is always here to help.

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