Billboards for Lawyer Advertising – What to Know

Should Personal Injury Lawyers Use Billboards for Advertising?

Yes. Billboards are not just great for your ego. Billboards are the most cost-effective tool for branding. But personal injury lawyers should only use billboards for branding together with direct response advertising on TV, radio, or Google Ads.

What is direct-response advertising? It is designed to generate an immediate response, such as when someone sees your advertising and calls you. Ex. TV, radio, and Google Ads.

What you need to know:

  1. Personal injury lawyers need direct response advertising.
  2. Branding substantially improves ROI from direct response advertising.
  3. Branding alone is not beneficial for personal injury because people injured in accidents aren’t going to call a lawyer because of branding. They will call a lawyer they see in direct response advertising, and they will be much more likely to call a name they recognize.

When Did Lawyers First Use Billboards for Advertising?

Billboards for lawyer advertising were used soon after the U.S. Supreme Court held in the landmark case Bates v. State Bar of Arizona that attorney advertising is commercial speech protected by the First Amendment.

Are Billboards Effective for Lawyer Advertising?

Billboards can be very effective for lawyer advertising, but only if used correctly. Lawyers need to know when to advertise on billboards and how to design billboards.

How to substantially increase results from billboards:

  1. Advertise on billboards when you’re also advertising with direct response media, such as TV, radio, and Google Ads.
  2. Brand a 1-800 vanity phone number on billboards.
  3. Branding must be consistent across all advertising.

If you can break even with the cost of billboards and your billboards more than double or triple your calls from your other advertising, that’s obviously worthwhile.

Advertising a 1-800 vanity phone number on billboards without direct response media will even result in a few direct calls from the billboards, which can cover the cost of the billboards.

When Tom tried advertising 1-800-HURT-911 only on billboards, he wrote:

“I’m starting to get a call a day on the billboards so maybe it is beginning to work.”

Billboards are a branding tool with tremendous instant impact. However, billboards are not for direct response advertising, which is the type of advertising personal injury lawyers need.

Branding on billboards for personal injury lawyers will substantially increase the conversion rate of all types of direct response advertising media, including online PPC like Google Ads.

Advertising a 1-800 vanity phone number on billboards will increase the conversion rate of direct response advertising media because it creates an impressive instant brand.

Just make sure that your brand is consistent across all your advertising.

Tom advertised on daytime TV for three months with a $4,200 monthly budget and received 2.5 calls per day. Then Tom advertised only on billboards for 10 months. Then he ran out of money and switched back to TV during the middle of the night when it is a fraction of the cost of daytime advertising.

When Tom tried advertising on TV after 10 months of using only billboards, he wrote:

“As you probably can tell from the call log entries the calls for 1-800-HURT-911 have picked up in November and December going forward. In November and December I have been running late night tv spots on Fox from 2am to 5am and on the Time Warner Local 24 hour News Channel from 12am to 6am and BET, E Network and Comedy Central all from 12am to 6am. The rates are $3 per spot! I have picked up about 20 cases in the past two months, so apparently people are up late at night. My budget for the whole month was only $1,400.”

If you’re a personal injury lawyer advertising on billboards without a 1-800 vanity phone number, a strong brand, or at least a memorable domain name, you’re wasting your money. No one can remember a numeric number they see on a billboard.

This Personal injury lawyer billboard advertising 1-800-HURT-911® is one of the best attorney ads.

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Attorney Rob Plevy

Change Your Future!
With 1-800-HURT-911®

Find out how Phil and Rob changed their lives and if your state is still available!

Call Phil Franckel, Esq. Now!
7 days / 8 am to 10 pm EST
>> 516-621-9399 ext. 5

Call Phil 7 days/nights

or send an email

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Should Personal Injury Lawyers Advertise Only on Billboards?

No. Personal Injury lawyers should never advertise only on billboards.

When can a law firm advertise only on billboards? Billboards advertising a personal injury lawyer are only worthwhile without direct response advertising when you have a 1-800 vanity phone number because people only remember the most prominent word or image on the billboard.

But even with a 1-800 vanity phone number, the ROI won’t be as good as direct response advertising alone. I only recommend advertising on billboards when used in conjunction with direct-response advertising.

If you can’t afford to advertise on TV or radio, Google Ads for lawyers is an affordable option for an advertising campaign that includes billboards.

Google Ads is inexpensive and highly controllable, unlike TV. It works great on its own, but you can greatly increase ROI by adding billboards if you use the same branding on the billboards as in your Google Ads title.

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What Type of Advertising Are Billboards Effective For?

Billboards are used for branding. Whatever you put on a billboard will be branded.

Billboards are not for direct response advertising. But billboards will substantially increase the effectiveness of direct response advertising.

Personal Injury lawyers use direct response advertising. Lawyers should use the power of branding on billboards to increase awareness of direct response advertising media such as TVradio, and the internet.

Using different types of media at the same time is called cross-branding. Read more about branding and advertising for personal injury lawyers.

Benefits of Billboards

  1. Can’t be ignored by the viewer.
  2. Static image that stays in the viewer’s mind.
  3. Continuous exposure to drivers traveling the same route twice a day every day.
  4. Makes a huge impact and creates substantial branding.
  5. Substantially increases the effectiveness and response rate of direct response advertising such as TV, radio, and Google Ads.

How Billboards Benefit Online PPC Advertising

  1. Billboards dramatically increase conversions from Google Ads by creating brand awareness and trust. According to InstantShift, brand trust matters to mobile users.
  2. Increased conversions due to brand awareness.
  3. Increases your Google Quality Score, which provides better positioning and decreases the price per click.
  4. Billboards improve the position of your law firm website in Google SERPs (Organic results in Search Engine Results Pages) by increasing the number of inbound links to your website.

Read more about How Off-Line Advertising Improves Website Rank (SERPs) and Google Ads.

This excerpt of a call shows how billboards attracted a salesperson representing several TV stations. This type of attention increases the number of websites interested in linking to your law firm’s website. It also shows how brand awareness is increased.

Cons or Disadvantages of Billboards

  1. Not suitable for direct response advertising, so lawyers must use billboards simultaneously with other advertising media such as TV or radio.
  2. Requires a long-term commitment (but really any advertising does).
  3. Weather conditions can degrade static billboards. Static billboards are usually made from PVC or PE (polyethylene). PVC is cheaper and lasts longer, while PE is more environmentally friendly.
  4. Static billboards are not easily changed.
  5. Billboards provide very little information. Information on billboards must be conveyed in less than 7 words and understood in only 5 seconds.

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Why Aren’t Billboards Working for My Lawyer Advertising?

If billboards are not working for your law practice, it’s most likely due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. You’re advertising only on billboards and not on other media like TV or radio.
  2. The design of your billboards is not good.
    1. You are branding your face and not much else.
    2. You are advertising a numeric phone number, not a vanity phone number.
    3. You have a poor message.
    4. Your billboards are cluttered with too much information.
    5. Your branding doesn’t match your other advertising media.
  3. You’re expecting to get calls from billboards. You won’t. Billboards increase the number of calls from other media like TV or radio. If you advertise a vanity phone number on billboards, you will get some calls from billboards.

How Long Do Drivers Look at Billboards?

Average viewing time is only 5 seconds, and less than 7 words are recommended for the title, according to Clear Channel.

Other sources indicate viewing time is only 3-6 seconds, and no more than 6 words are recommended (see 10 Steps To Making a Great Billboard Ad and Outdoor Advertising Design Tips with some great design tools).

Although the viewing time may be 3-6 seconds, drivers spend less time looking at billboards than they have available while driving past.

A U.S. DOT study (FHWA-HEP-16-036 page 2, PDF page 13) shows that drivers look at electronic billboards (COMMERCIAL ELECTRONIC VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS or CEVMS) for an average of 379 milliseconds and 335 milliseconds for conventional static billboards.

1-800-HURT-911 gets your message across in milliseconds. Look at the billboards below and ask yourself which billboards you would spend your money on.

This personal injury lawyer billboard was rather effective for direct response advertising, and the motorcyclist had plenty of time to read it!

Personal injury lawyer billboard advertising 1-800-HURT-911 on the front of a bus overhanging a motorcycle hit by the bus

Sometimes, the viewing time is too long! This motorcyclist had plenty of time to look at 1-800 HURT-911

Top 8 Billboard Design Tips for Lawyers

  • Hire an ad designer to professionally design your billboard.
  • Limit text to 7 words or less.
  • If you want people to contact you, use a vanity phone number. Vanity phone numbers are better than website addresses because it’s one less step to contact you and are more easily branded.
  • The text should be a catchy wordplay and relate to your vanity phone number, i.e.
    ACCIDENT? It’s a 911 call!
    …1-800 HURT-911
  • The text font should be large, simple, and stand out. Color and contrast are crucial.
  • Avoid images unless it’s the main message. Images will draw attention away from your message. If you use an image, it should be simple and easily identified within 3 seconds. People are more likely to look at an ad if it contains just text. An advantage of 1-800 HURT-911 is that it’s text that can be stylized.
  • Do not include photos of lawyers (unless you want a seat at the best table in a restaurant). Photos of lawyers will draw attention away from your message.
  • Test how your ad looks from a distance. Print it on a poster at Costco and hang it on the wall; Walk past it from a distance and see if you can get the message within 3 seconds. Ask friends to walk past it and see if they get the message.

Want to design the perfect billboard? Read The Perfect Ad in Psychology Today about the observations of a motorist.

Top 5 Billboard Advertising Tips for Lawyers

  • Billboards should be a long-term commitment. No advertising should be tried out for a month or two, but this is especially true with billboards.
  • Don’t use billboards unless you also have other advertising. The purpose of billboards for lawyers is to increase your response from direct response advertising. Billboards should not be the sole form of advertising for lawyers.
  • Negotiate the lowest cost by offering a 12 or 24-month commitment.
  • After negotiating the lowest cost possible, negotiate to get more billboards for the same amount. Outdoor billboard companies will include a number of smaller billboards called posters to get your business.

Bonus Tip — How To Get More Billboard Views For Free

To get thousands of extra views, add a photo of your billboard to Google Maps for the business at the billboard’s location. Make sure the business is also visible in the photo. When people search the business and look at photos, they will see it appear like the screenshot below.

Large Personal injury lawyer billboard advertising 1-800-HURT-911

Get thousands of extra views – add your billboard photo to Google Maps.
This photo got 166 views in the first 24 hours after it was uploaded.

This photo of our tent where we gave out free T-shirts was uploaded on Google Maps and got 81,941 free views in one year!A free personal injury lawyer billboard advertising 1-800-HURT-911 at a motorcycle event

Here, a 1-800-HURT-911® T-shirt is an online billboard. It got 66 views in the first three hours after uploading.

Another way to get a free billboard personal injury lawyer billboard advertising 1-800-HURT-911 on Google maps

Even your license plate can be an online billboard. I took a photo when my car was at the shop and uploaded it to Google Maps. My HURT 911 license plate and car sign saying BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®, and 1-800-HURT-911® were seen 44,184 times in two years. This screenshot of Google Maps shows how Google has my photo as the second photo under the shop’s photo.
Free advertising with a car sign and license plate billboard on a car at an auto shop shown on Google maps

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How Much Do Billboards Cost?

Physical billboard costs average $250 per month in rural areas, $1,500-$4,000 in small to midsize cities, and $14,000 and up in larger markets,” according to Brian Czahor, CEO at BC Media & Associates, Inc.

See the average cost of billboards by state.

How Much Do Digital Billboards Cost?

Electronic digital billboards are more expensive than static billboards. An article at WireSpring, a software and hosting company for digital signage, states, “The average CPM (cost per thousand) for a regular billboard is $2.05 and $37.42 for an LED billboard. says, “The average cost of a digital billboard advertisement varies from $1,200 to $15,000 per month,” while static billboards cost from $250 per month in rural areas to between $4,000 and $10,000 per month in populated areas.

To calculate the cost of installing and operating a digital billboard, use the LED Billboard cost estimator calculator at WireSpring.

For personal injury advertising, I prefer physical billboards over digital billboards.

Static vs. Digital Billboards

In an extensive study of possible driver distraction from digital or electronic billboards, the Federal Highway Administration found mixed results when comparing digital billboards vs. static billboards when looking at drivers “gazing” at the boards.

It appears that drivers were more likely to gaze at digital Billboards on local roads while gazing longer at static billboards on freeways.

Electronic billboards are more easily seen at night.

Electronic billboards can show messages in short segments, so a passing driver may see more than one advertisement, thereby viewing your ad for less time than compared to conventional static billboards.

A U.S. DOT study (FHWA-HEP-16-036 page 2, PDF page 13) shows drivers looking at electronic billboards (COMMERCIAL ELECTRONIC VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGNS or CEVMS) for an average of 379 milliseconds compared to 335 milliseconds for conventional static billboards.

Billboard Examples for Personal Injury Lawyers – A Message Remembered After a 335 Millisecond Glance!

One of the large billboards for lawyer advertising showing 1-800-HURT-911 personal injury lawyers in CT

Personal injury lawyer advertising billboard 1-800-HURT-911

1-800-HURT-911 Billboard

Image showing 1-800-HURT-911 lawyer advertising billboard

lawyer advertising vanity phone number 1-800-HURT-911 on a Billboard

Personal injury lawyer banner advertising vanity phone number

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What Sizes Are Billboards?

The most common size billboards used by personal injury lawyers are called Bulletins and Posters.

The most common-sized billboards people are familiar with are Bulletins, usually seen on highways.

There is a super-size called “Spectaculars,” usually seen in areas like Times Square, NY, and Las Vegas.

Bulletin sizes:

  • 14′ H x 48′ W
  • 10′ H x 40′ W
  • 10′ 6″ H x 36′ W
  • Extensions can be added so it is sticking out of the top or side of a Bulletin, which makes it look like a cut-out.

Poster sizes:

  • 12′ 3″ H x 24′, 6″ W
  • 10′ 5″ H x 22′, 8″ W

Mobile Billboards

Mobile billboards are a great way to augment a billboard campaign or as an alternative to large billboards if your budget can’t afford it.

Uber, UberEats, Lyft, and Grubhub

Get seen in the neighborhoods where you want to be seen on Uber, Uber Eats, Lyft, and Grubhub cars. Many people use Uber and Lyft to go to doctors. This video shows a partial wrap. Full wraps with front and back are also available.


Mobile billboards on trucks achieve substantial and impressive branding because of the large billboard size on trucks. They can also be much less costly, and people will often view the brand message longer than on stationary billboards. Read more about Mobile billboards on trucks and their cost.

1-800-HURT-911® lawyer advertising on a truck for car accidents


OUTFRONT Media announced it rolled out a bus domination campaign for 1-800-HURT-911 throughout the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) transit system.

“As the only campaign on the front of every bus in the MARTA fleet, 1-800-HURT-911 will have exclusive access to the most outdoor transit displays in Atlanta.”

1-800-HURT-911 is seen on the front of 400 buses in Atlanta with advertising rights to the front of MARTA buses for two years. See the OUTFRONT Media Press Release

Personal injury lawyer Vanity phone number advertising billboard on buses

Bus Sign

Bus Billboards Are Seen Everywhere in the News on TV & Internet

Watch the Fox News videoBus Sign in the News

Sickout Strikes at MARTA Ahead of Superbowl1-800-HURT-911 on Bus

MARTA Board to Vote on $2.7 Billion Expansion Plan Over 40 YearsBus Signs in the News

Here, a 1-800-HURT-911 bus billboard is seen on change.orgBus Sign in Photo on

1-800-HURT-911 and a competitor’s bus billboard are seen in this article about bus expansion. This is an example of why competition is good. No one company can ever get all the business, but the top two or three will get most of it. That’s why Coca-Cola and Pepsi need each other. Don’t get left out!

TrainsPersonal injury lawyer Vanity phone number advertising billboard on trains

Personal injury lawyer Vanity phone number advertising billboard on train car 1-800-HURT-911

Urgent Care Advertising

urgent care advertisement on bus

urgent care billboard

Inexpensive Personal Injury Lawyer Billboards for Branding

  • Gas Station Pumps
  • Car Wraps
  • Banners
  • Bike Billboards
  • Scooter Billboards
  • Truck Billboards.

Gas Station Pumps

New! This is an incredibly effective and cost-effective way of increasing branding when people are looking at your sign on the gas station pump for several minutes!

Read more about this incredible opportunity with gas station signs

Gas Pump billboard sign advertising 1-800-HURT-911


1-800-HURT-911 Gas Station Banner

Car Wraps Are the Most Cost-Effective BillboardsPersonal injury lawyer advertising car wrap with 1-800-HURT-911

1-800-HURT-911 SUV

1-800-HURT-911 car wrap

1-800-HURT-911 car wrap

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Unconventional Personal Injury Lawyer Billboards

Advertising your law firm on race cars is not a cost-effective method of branding a personal injury lawyer, but if you like to go to the races and want to see your law firm on a car, just do it.

1-800-HURT-911 Branding on a Race CarPersonal injury lawyer advertising on race car

Free Billboards for Lawyers

The best billboard a personal injury lawyer can get is a free billboard. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to get a free billboard.

Just buy or rent a building in a high visibility area where you can put up a large sign on the side of the building or on the roof.

Another way to get a free billboard is to buy or rent a retail storefront on which you can have a large, noticeable sign.

Least expensive? We rent a desk with the right to put our 1-800-HURT-911 sign in front, and we pay the office manager to help us when new clients walk in.

Personal injury lawyer sign with vanity phone number advertising 1-800-HURT-911 outside store front

Personal Injury Lawyer Billboards No One Will Remember

Can you remember this lawyer’s phone number in a 335-millisecond glance at his billboard at 65 mph?

All I remember is a red face and a dark suit. One call, but what’s the number? One call, but how do I call him? Just call the guy with the red face!
image showing a lawyer advertising on a Billboard without a vanity phone number

Compare this, and don’t hire me from my billboard! This billboard is unreadable after 335 seconds, let alone 335 milliseconds.
Image showing a confusing lawyer Billboard

All I see and remember is CAR ACCIDENT We Care because it’s the only thing that stands out on this personal injury lawyer billboard. The image is distracting and adds nothing to the message. No one will notice or remember their name and certainly not their phone number. Do you care?
Image showing a lawyer's billboard emphasizing We Care

Why Are There So Many Billboard Ads for Personal Injury Lawyers?

Reasons you see so many billboard ads for personal injury lawyers:

  • A lot of money is earned in personal injury law, so lawyers can more easily afford billboard advertising.
  • Billboards are highly effective in branding for personal injury advertising.
  • Billboards are cost-effective when used properly.
  • Personal injury lawyers like seeing their names on billboards.

Philip L. Franckel, Esq., is the author of this article.

Phil Franckel is the owner of 1-800-HURT-911® and over 1,100 domain names. He is a personal injury lawyer and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association. He is an expert in branding, advertising, marketing, and SEO. He has been doing SEO since 1994.

Phil Franckel has written and produced TV commercials for lawyers and other industries and has been a consultant to businesses, including several using vanity phone numbers. Phil writes a blog about lawyer advertising at

Phil Franckel began a mail order business in 8th grade, bought and sold coin-operated amusement games in 10th grade, and a used car business in 12th grade through college. After law school, he worked in the wholesale diamond business and part-time for a TV production company. Later, while a lawyer at a large personal injury law firm, he worked part-time for ABC Wide World of Sports and ABC Monday Night Baseball.

Phil Franckel then started a personal injury law practice and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association.

In his spare time, Phil Franckel became an Aux. Police Cadet in 12th grade and is the Commanding Officer of the Communications Bureau, NCPD Aux. Police Section.

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