In many cases, veterans often feel they’ve been wounded not once, but twice. Not only do they suffer the ongoing pain of their injury obtained in the line of duty, they often also suffer from a lack of help regarding their disability, inability to work, and the financial strain that it causes. Your challenge as an attorney is to connect with veterans and earn their trust as someone who can help them. Here are several challenges that disability attorneys often encounter when trying to market and advertise to veterans.
Disability Knowledge: Veterans want a lawyer they can trust, one who considers it a privilege to fight for veteran rights, and one who knows about the disabilities they suffer from. As an attorney, you need to be aware that veterans often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries (SCI), eye injuries and exposure to toxins or other conditions like Agent Orange, mustard gas, Lewisite, or ionizing radiation.
Collecting Evidence: Questions often arise about whether a veteran’s disability is related to his or her military service, so it is important to establish trust with the veteran client to let them know that you have know-how and will work hard to collect the needed evidence to make the claim.
Benefit Eligibility: Many veterans and family members are not even aware that they are eligible for benefits. They need a lawyer who truly understands the qualifications to receive benefits. In your advertising, it is important for you to communicate your knowledge of eligibility criteria, such as the disability rating scale, and whether the initial injury was aggravated by training or active duty. It’s important that you communicate expertise about compensation not only for the veteran, but any compensation for the spouse, children, dependent parents of the veteran, or survivors. It is also important to communicate what disability is available in the state they live in, as well as benefits owed you if you are unemployable due to the disability or if you are retired.
Claim Submittal: Working with an experienced lawyer can make all the difference when submitting a VA claim, so make sure you communicate that in your advertising. Let them know the types of information needed to submit and that you will help them with the appeal process if they’ve had a claim that has been denied.
Since many veterans will do an initial Web search to find an attorney, make sure your Web page contains all of the above information and that it also demonstrates your expertise. Talk about other cases you’ve won, and have testimonials from other veteran clients. You might consider a blog to talk about current topics in the news regarding veterans and disability.