Ambulance Chasers and Personal Injury Litigation
An accident can be a very traumatic event. An accident can leave you feeling vulnerable and at loose ends. Ambulance-chasing lawyers prey on this feeling. These lawyers, or their underlings, mysteriously pop up at the scene of accidents hoping to lure the accident victim.
Some lawyers peruse police reports of auto accidents. These reports are available for a few dollars. They then contact the individual who appears not to have caused the accident and suggest that he or she pursue an injury claim.
Some lawyers have people on the streets looking for accidents. It is a simple thing to buy a radio that picks up police calls. Many people report being approached after an accident by one or more people who offer to take them to a lawyer’s office. These people often arrive even before the police. They may have a whole system set up that at first seems attractive. They might offer to drive you to a body shop they know of, then to a hospital emergency room, and then to the lawyer’s office. They might even suggest that the lawyer will lend you money.
You might be tempted to choose a lawyer who will lend you money. Resist this temptation. It is unequivocally unethical for a lawyer to lend a client money. You should select a lawyer because he or she is a good lawyer, not to get a loan. The dollars you receive up front as a loan may pale next to the small settlement you receive at the end of the case. If the lawyer must rely on loans to attract clients, he is probably not a very good lawyer. It is unlikely that he cares very much about you or what is in your best interest.
If you are truly desperate for money during your litigation, there are legitimate companies that make loans and use your case as “collateral”. If you have a case that is a sure fire winner, you can get such a loan. But beware. The interest and fees will be exorbitant. It is an absolute last resort.