America’s Hispanic population is primarily bilingual and has a combined purchasing power of $1.7 trillion. According to Harvard University’s Instituto Cervantes survey, Spanish is the most-spoken non-English language in the United States. About 61 million U.S. residents identify as Hispanic. Targeting Spanish speakers and bilingual Hispanic prospects can help your firm rise above the competition and significantly grow your practice. Here are some valuable insights about this growing demographic designed to help you turn those prospects into cases.
Most Promising Practice Areas: Auto Accidents and Workers’ Compensation
Hispanics are disproportionately affected by auto accidents and workers’ compensation claims compared to the general U.S. population. Personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys will likely benefit most from targeting Spanish-speaking and bilingual prospects.
Key Insights for Personal Injury Attorneys Handling Auto Accident Claims
- Fatal motor vehicle crashes account for 4.7% of deaths among Hispanics vs. 1.8% of African-Americans and 1.6% of non-Hispanic whites. According to NHTSA data, fatal car crashes were the fifth-leading cause of death among Hispanics or Latinos in 2006.
- Hispanic child pedestrians are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized or killed by at-fault drivers than non-Hispanic whites. Statistically, most serious pedestrian injuries among Hispanic children occur between 3 pm-9 pm. Children who moved within the last year and whose parents only spoke Spanish experienced higher pedestrian injury rates than bilingual households.
- 27% of Latinos rely on public transportation either daily or weekly vs. 14% of non-Hispanic whites. This makes them far more likely to suffer pedestrian-related auto injuries while walking to and from public transit stations.
Key Insights for Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
- Foreign-born Hispanic workers have higher work-related disability rates than those born in the U.S., according to BLS data. Age plays a role here as well: Work-related injuries were most prevalent among all Hispanic men aged 50-64. About 1 in 20 Hispanic workers in that age group reported suffering a work-related disability.
- Hispanic or Latino workplace fatalities increased 13% in 2019, accounting for 1 in 5 worker deaths that year. The largest share of workplace fatalities involved workers driving commercial vehicles (including truck drivers).
- Hispanic workers have outsized representation in jobs with the highest nonfatal workplace injury rates, especially in the healthcare sector. Much of America’s healthcare workforce is evenly split between bilingual Hispanic-Americans and foreign-born native Spanish speakers. However, recent studies show Hispanic and Latino workers are less likely to file WC claims for non-traumatic injuries. They’re also more likely to lose their jobs after receiving workers’ compensation benefits, presenting caseload opportunities for employment lawyers.
How Bilingual or Spanish-Speaking Consumers Find Legal Representation
A recent Thomson-Reuters report, “No More Guessing: What Motivates Spanish-Speaking Consumers to Hire an Attorney?” revealed some crucial data. This annual legal consumer survey with 2,000 respondents found:
- 65% of Spanish speakers conduct web searches on mobile devices to research attorneys. That’s much higher than all consumers conducting similar searches (54%, on average). Make sure to optimize your firm’s website for mobile as well as create a Spanish-language version.
- 45% of Spanish speakers look for attorneys on social media vs. 27% of consumers overall, and 73% have Facebook accounts. Consider making either a Spanish-language Facebook page or hiring a bilingual resource to handle your social media accounts.
- 30% of Spanish-speaking legal consumers considered at least three attorneys to hire, vs. 19% of overall respondents. So if you only advertise in English, you likely won’t win over those clients.
- 26% of bilingual and Spanish-speaking Hispanics hire lawyers because they “want justice to be served” vs. 18% of all consumers. This can help you better tailor your messaging strategy in both English and Spanish to better engage those consumers.
Largest Bilingual and Spanish-Speaking U.S. Markets
According to the Pew Research Center, these counties represent the most prominent Hispanic markets nationwide, based on 2019 population size:
- Los Angeles County, CA – 4,880,000 Hispanic residents
- Harris County, TX – Houston, America’s fourth-largest city, has 2,060,000 Hispanic residents
- Miami-Dade County, FL – 1,890,000 Hispanic residents
- Maricopa County, AZ – Arizona’s capital city, Phoenix, has 1,410,000 Hispanic residents; half the state’s population lives here
- Cook County, IL – 1,320,000 Hispanic residents live in Chicago’s Metropolitan area
- Riverside County, CA – 1,240,000 Hispanic residents
- Bexar County, TX – 1,220,000 Hispanic residents
- San Bernardino County, CA – 1,190,000 Hispanic residents
- San Diego County, CA – 1,140,000 Hispanic residents
- Orange County, CA – 1,080,000 Hispanic residents
- Dallas County, TX – 1,070,000 Hispanic residents
Here are a few last nuggets of wisdom if you do plan to go after Spanish-speaking or bilingual Hispanic legal prospects:
- With a median age of 30, America’s Hispanic population skews younger. These prospects are more likely to want to communicate via text or email than your usual client base.
- You need at least one bilingual or native Spanish speaker working at your firm. You don’t have to learn Spanish, and almost 70% of Hispanics are fluent in English.
- This consumer demographic drives repeat client referrals once your firm wins their trust. Here’s why: When seeking out lawyer referrals, 79% of Spanish-speaking consumers ask family members; 24% ask their neighbors, and 32% ask their coworkers. Compare that to 73%, 15%, and 20% for all consumers asking those respective contact groups, on average.
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