Lawyers Use Web Site, Google Ads to Find Metro Crash Victims
Hurt in Monday's Metro crash and looking for legal representation? The folks behind dcmetrocrash.com would be happy to help you out.
The site actually includes a bunch of pretty good information about the crash—information that might be taken as somewhat incriminating, anyway. That the train operator 'had been on the job for four months'; that the National Transportation Safety Board 'warned twice that trains like the ones involved in Monday's wreck may be dangerous to passengers'; and that 'D.C.'s mayor said the blame for the crash should fall "squarely" on local officials.'
LL called the number on the site. He didn't reach a lawyer, but rather Jared Reagan, proprietor of an outfit called Lawyer Marketing Solution.
He says he's working with a group of 38 lawyers from across the Eastern Seaboard—from D.C., Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, to name a few. He declined to share their identities: "I don't know how to pronounce the last names," he said.
He may not know pronunciation, but Reagan, who lives in California, does know a thing or two about rustling up victims of a mass casualty incident: He says he last worked on the L.A. Metrolink crash that killed 25 last September. There's money is creating these Web sites, and selling them through Google ads: "The cost per click for train accident lawyers is really high," Reagan says—but don't accuse him of cashing in here: "This is a huge case. We really do want to help these victims."
Web sites like these have become a main way for trial lawyers to find clients in the aftermath of such an event. Ethical rules bar lawyers from actual "ambulance chasing" or directly contacting victims, so they are forced to find ways to get the victims to contact them.
Google ads have become a mainstay of that strategy, and it's a lucrative one: Says Reagan, "This is the only marketing I do—it's the highest cost per click online. What else can you do, a young guy like me? I don't want to do porn [sites]."
Reagan says that he recently stopped advertising dcmetrocrash.com; he's moved to metrotrainaccident.com, which he thought would have better search engine visibility.
The old one, it turns out, had pretty decent visibility: One tweeter, unsuckdcmetro, reports that the Google ads are running on the WMATA Web site.