12 Nov How to Know If You Have Been Illegally Solicited by an Ambulance Chaser
Ambulance chasing. Yes, you read that right. To the untrained eye, the term may seem harmless. Professionals know the label’s true meaning though. Ambulance chasing, or unlawful solicitation, is when a personal injury attorney or representative contacts accident victims to represent them for strictly personal gain. The practice gets its name from lawyers literally chasing down ambulances to solicit victims before or during medical treatment. Although ambulance chasing takes many different forms today, the act is in fact illegal in the State of Florida and most of the country.
Florida statute §817.234(8)(b) prohibits solicitation except by general advertising within 60 days of such incidents. Violation is a third-degree felony.
According to the Florida Bar, “Bar rules prohibit the solicitation – face to face, by phone including via a cold call, or through a third party – of a client who is not a family member or with whom the lawyer does not have a prior professional relationship. Attorneys may not send direct mail solicitations to prospective clients within 30 days of an accident, and then that mailing must meet several conditions including stating where the attorney got the recipient’s name, be marked as an advertisement, and start by advising the recipient to ignore the letter if he or she has already retained another lawyer.”
Busy firms who engage in such unlawful conduct are not “successful firms” because they are technically criminals. Beware of these law firms or chiropractic offices.
Since ambulance chasing is against the law in Florida, victims should be mindful of the warning signs. What are some common methods of unlawful solicitation?
- You have been referred to a chiropractor or an attorney by a tow truck driver.
- You have been telephoned by an unknown person, otherwise known as an investigator, advising you or offering assistance in seeking immediate monetary compensation after an accident.
- An unknown person, otherwise known as an investigator, has knocked on your door or showed up to the hospital to meet with you. They often promise monetary recovery after an accident.
- An acquaintance offers to physically bring you to a chiropractor’s office after an accident.
Many of these ambulance chasers are receiving kickbacks by referring you to their clinic or law firm. Not only is it against the law but retaining these law firms or treating at these clinics can often critically damage your claim and monetary compensation.
If you or someone you know is unlawfully solicited by another, call our law firm immediately. We can help you terminate a relationship with a criminal attorney and move on with your case properly. The Law Firm of Cindy Goldstein is proud to represent you with integrity. Contact Cindy Goldstein for a FREE legal consultation today.