Jason Stephens | August 10, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you have heard the term “ambulance chaser,” you may be wondering what it means. Most people believe that an ambulance chaser is a personal injury attorney who goes from accident scene to accident scene trying to convince victims to hire their firm to represent them.
Another term for this practice is called case running, and it is sometimes done by people called case runners, not personal injury attorneys.
What Is an Ambulance Chaser?
Ambulance chasers are not always licensed to practice law, and they don’t always claim to be, either. Personal injury attorneys and law firms hire ambulance chasers to find accident victims.
Then, the ambulance chasers try to convince the victims to work with that law firm. They may even bring the victim to a doctor of their choosing who works with the runner to ensure that the victim’s personal injury case is strong.
They are essentially selling your case to legal and medical professionals in order to earn a commission. Their livelihood depends on people getting into accidents and needing legal and medical help.
After an accident, most people are overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next; ambulance chasers pray on that fear for their own financial gain.
What Does an Ambulance Chaser Do?
Rather than helping you with your case, an ambulance chaser is primarily working with doctors and lawyers to find the best deal that suits their interests.
Time is valuable after your accident. This is when you should be working with a legal professional to gather evidence, obtain proper medical treatment, and find and repair damage to your vehicle.
Instead, an ambulance chaser is spending that critical time negotiating with doctors and lawyers. They are not concerned with the problems that you are dealing with after an accident, and they are not advising you on the next steps you should be taking.
If anything, they are hurting your case by potentially allowing evidence to disappear.
In contrast, when you work directly with an experienced personal injury attorney, you will receive the help you need. Their priority will be ensuring that you get appropriate medical treatment, have your car repaired, and document important costs, details about the accident, and gather relevant evidence.
They will help you build a case so that you can be compensated for your injuries and property damage.
Is Ambulance Chasing Legal?
Not only is ambulance chasing or case running unethical, but it is illegal. Texas state law prohibits anyone from contacting a victim of an accident directly for the purpose of soliciting business and from selling their information to another person for financial gain.
Texas Displicinary Rules for licensed attorneys also prohibits an attorney from paying someone who is not licensed to practice law to solicit clients.
How To Tell if You Have Been a Victim of Ambulance Chasing
If the person who approached you has done any of the following things, you have probably been approached by an ambulance chaser.
Here is what you should look out for:
- An offer to pay you in exchange for agreeing to become a client
- Being contacted in person, through social media, over the phone or email, or by any other means
- Any unwanted solicitation within 31 days of your accident
- Any solicitation that involves coercion, fraud, duress, harassment, or intimidation
When in doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and not respond to any solicitations from an attorney after an accident. Instead, you should research and select the right lawyer for you.
How To Find a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney
The best way to get help after a car accident or other injury is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Most personal injury law firms have a free consultation call or meeting. This way, you can talk to an experienced attorney about your case without the pressure to work with them.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107