“There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”
While it is 100% true that statistics can be manipulated to make even the most improbable of things completely plausible, some perfectly valid statistics can be used to illustrate your importance to potential clients. And not only can statistics be used to illustrate why clients might need your services, but they can also be used to improve your ranking on search engines.
You should obviously be cautious as to where you get your facts and figures. For instance, if you happen to be looking for accurate statistics on handgun deaths, you probably wouldn’t want to get them from the National Rifle Association. Nor would you want to get them from Handgun Control, Inc. Going to Greenpeace isn’t exactly the best place to get information on environmental pollution, as they will be sure to paint the most dire picture possible. Nor do you want to get pollution information from the National Association of Coal Miners, as the statistics will be slanted towards painting the rosiest of all scenarios.
So where do you go to find the real statistics about car accidents, medical malpractice, and drunk driving incidents? Or, better yet, where can you go to find statistics that would be a direct refutation of the stuff that the American Tort Reform Association puts out?
Believe it or not, the best place to find statistics are directly from the government. Trying to find reasonably accurate statistics from any non-government agency is somewhat of a fools errand.
Car Accident Statistics
The granddaddy of all traffic accident statistic sites is, of course, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA for short. They keep track of traffic accidents of every conceivable sort, in every state in the country. If you want to write a story about the importance of seat belt use, they have statistics about seat belt use. If you want to write a story about the number of traffic fatalities in your state, they can tell you exactly how many occurred. If you want to write a story about the number of alcohol related fatalities in your state, they can tell you exactly how many there were.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Tort reform organizations love medical malpractice statistics, especially wrong ones. Part of their method of chipping away at the rights of the average person is making it seem like every single medical malpractice case is a successful million dollar suit. Anyone who actually handles medical malpractice suits knows that this isn’t the case.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics is a branch of the Department of Justice that keeps track of judgments of all sorts, from contract disputes to torts, and a key aspect of their site is a yearly total of medical malpractice judgments. They also keep track of how many were successful and how many weren’t. (In case you didn’t know, the latter is much more numerous than the former.)
“Lawsuit Epidemic” Statistics
The biggest talking point of any of the well funded tort reform organizations is that our justice system is “broken.” They swear up and down that “Important” cases can’t get heard because the dockets are crammed with “frivolous lawsuits.”
If you go to The National Center of State Courts, you will find a complete percentage breakdown of the types of cases that are on our dockets every year. It is broken down state by state, and they tell you exactly how many cases are actually tort cases and how many are contract cases and how many are criminal cases. You will be quite surprised as to how few cases on each docket involve torts and how many are contract disputes waged among warring billionaire CEOs.
Why Statistics Work for You
On any given day, there are millions of students, teachers, researchers and just generally curious people who go to Google, Yahoo or any other search engine looking for information. They are looking for baseball statistics, pictures of Christina Aguilera, or the name of the guy who played the cowbell on Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” And aside from that there are people who got blindsided on the highway and are looking for legal help. Having the right statistics prominently listed on your website can bring these people right to your doorstep. And even if your site doesn’t show up at number one when people type in “Michigan car accident statistics,” the fact that it shows up at all means that search engines are viewing your site with increasing relevance. This can help increase the ratings overall.
If your firm is concerned about increasing your web presence, contact Foster Web Marketing for a free site assessment today.