Throughout the legal industry, technology has started to change the way law is administered. The Internet has become not only a way for people to get the information they need, but many courts are allowing depositions to be done online to save money and time. One area of technology that is getting a lot of attention is smartphones and the convenience of portability. But that convenience could come at a price, and both attorneys and clients need to understand the risks of using smartphones for personal injury law cases.
Smartphones are Definitely Taking Over
The perceived risks associated with transferring data over an unsecured smartphone connection have caused the use of smartphones to plateau in all areas of law except two; criminal defense and personal injury. A criminal defense lawyer can use a smartphone to immediately get information they need to work on a case, and a personal injury lawyer can communicate in real-time with clients and other parts of their case.
It is estimated that 57 percent of all criminal defense attorneys do work over their smartphones, and personal injury attorneys fall within that range as well. The numbers of attorneys in both fields who use smartphones are slowly on the rise, while the rest of the legal profession is avoiding smartphones on a regular basis.
Wireless connections between any two computing devices tend to be suspect when it comes to security, but smartphones have proven to be especially fragile in that area. While it is extremely convenient for a personal injury attorney to have information sent to their smartphone when they are on their way to court, it is also extremely dangerous. Data being sent to a phone can be intercepted, especially by people who monitor wireless traffic into and out of courthouses. If the data is picked up by someone who could damage the attorney’s case, then the risks outweigh the convenience.
Getting Good Information
When people go to personal injury websites, they generally read all of the information the site has to offer. This habit of having web traffic consume much of the information on a website is unusual among smartphone users, and seems to only occur with legal websites. The data shows that advertising campaigns by criminal defense and personal injury law firms are just as effective on smartphones as it is on desktop websites. But getting that data on a smartphone can be extremely difficult.
Personal injury law firms are in a tough spot because potential clients want that information via smartphone, but mobile website development does not allow for a robust exchange of information. Videos and full pages of text can be compromised on the transition from desktop to mobile website, and that loss of information could cause clients to misunderstand their options.
In the legal world, mobile computing devices are helping personal injury law firms to find new clients and even exchange data. But the fragile nature of smartphone signal security and the inability to create truly robust websites on the mobile format can make using smartphones to conduct personal law business risky.
Personal injury law firms and their clients need to be aware of the risks of using smartphones before committing to any kind of process based in technology. There are reasons corporate lawyers and other types of law firms are avoid mobile technology, and it might help personal injury law firms to understand those reasons and consider the risks.