When people get hurt, life gets complicated. Huge medical bills can start to pile up and suddenly the future is uncertain. Stress and pain make them vulnerable. Unfortunately, ambulance chasers seek to prey on those vulnerabilities.
What is an Ambulance Chaser?
An ambulance chaser is someone who contacts injured parties and tries to convince them to hire the law firm or attorney they work for. It’s unethical, and in most states (including Texas and Louisiana), it’s illegal.
The problem is, ambulance chasers, also sometimes called case runners make a living by pouncing on people right in the middle of personal misfortune, when they may not have had time to get their bearings. Instead of allowing people to do their own research and make their own decisions according to a time frame with which they’re comfortable, ambulance chasers contact them and may put pressure on them to sign paperwork or agree to representation.
How Do Ambulance Chasers Find Accident Victims so Quickly?
Ambulance chasers are proactive in locating people who have been in an accident. Some listen to police scanners. They pore through open records like police reports to find identifying information of the person most likely not at fault.
Others have people “on the inside.” They might pay emergency room workers, police dispatchers or tow truck drivers to pass along the information they’re looking for.
They’re often sneaky. Sometimes they show up minutes after an accident takes place, and they don’t tell you who they are or who they work for. They might claim to be a witness, then urge you to contact the firm they work for. Or, they might offer to help by arranging for a tow truck, offering a ride to a medical clinic, or providing some other type of assistance, just to get in your good graces for when they pitch legal representation later.
When they do talk about their law firm, they often promise big settlements while at the same time pressuring you to make a quick decision when it comes to your legal representation. They might even have partnerships with recovery drivers or doctors and try to get you to use their services to deal with your accident, for which they receive an additional kickback.
How to Spot an Ambulance Chaser
So how do you tell the difference between an ambulance chaser and a reputable personal injury attorney when both provide legal representation in personal injury cases? He or she might:
- Contact you about your case when you haven’t first reached out for legal advice
- Show up at the hospital without being contacted
- Promise big bucks before they even know the details of the case
What’s So Bad About a Case Runner?
In a lot of businesses, being a go-getter is a good thing, so you might be asking what’s so bad about an attorney sending a representative to offer their services to people in need. Like we said above, ambulance chasing is unethical and illegal.
That means if you entrust your personal injury claim to an ambulance chaser, you’re allowing someone who doesn’t care about the law or maintaining high standards to represent you. You’re allowing someone who puts personal financial gain above integrity to negotiate your settlement.
A reputable personal injury attorney makes your best interests his or her top priority. They know the law, they have a network of local resources, and they take time to research your case. They never promise what they can’t deliver. They’re as concerned about your future health as they are about your current financial needs. And they want to get you the best possible settlement, not the fastest one. Because they’re good at what they do, clients come to them, not the other way around.
Clients seek out Monsour Law Firm attorneys because of our reputation for experience, tenacity and compassion. If you need the best on your side, schedule a complimentary consultation and let’s talk.