“Ambulance Chasers”

An attorney who represents injured people and their families will inevitably hear jokes about “ambulance chasing.” I tell young lawyers that they need to have a “thick skin” and a sense of humor about themselves and their work.

But in recent years aggressive direct marketing has become somewhat of a problem for my profession.  When I am talking to someone who was recently hurt in a car crash, they’ll often tell me that their phone “has been ringing off the hook,” and that they have received many letters and packages in the mail from lawyers and chiropractors wanting to represent and treat them. The source for these contacts is often publicly-available police reports.  One client recently reported that she was warned her “claim would be closed” if she didn’t get immediate treatment from the chiropractor who solicited her. The law mostly protects this type of marketing, and when these folks step over the line they are rarely held accountable.  

Why does this matter?  It matters because it diminishes the integrity of the legal system, and it makes valid cases harder to win. At the trial of an automobile accident, personal injury or malpractice case, jurors may come in to the courtroom with a build-in negative bias against the injured party because they, or someone they know, was inundated with solicitations after some minor car crash.  The jury may assume that you and your lawyer are part of this problem, and hold it against you.

Insurance companies and their lawyers have little interest in stopping “direct solicitation.”  They know that it helps them because any trial of the case may be tainted by “anti-lawyer bias.”

If you are injured and feel you need a lawyer, consider looking beyond the first call or mail solicitation. Talk to friends, search the internet, or call your local bar association. You have plenty of time, so don’t rush.

To discuss your case, call or text 513-287-7447, or email [email protected].