“Ambulance Chaser". We have all heard this term. It generally applies to a Plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer, wh in order to get new clients “chases an ambulance” following an accident. Kind of like this:
Cute, right? Everyone laughs and turn their noses up at the same time. However…..
Did you know that lawyers have been prohibited from “chasing ambulances” (aka directly soliciting clients) for 50+ years?
Did you know in Arizona, it is a criminal offence for anyone to attempt to solicit a victim at an accident scene?
(Kind of puts that the “ambulance chaser” theory to rest real fast, huh?)
Okay, but honestly—does it happen? Answer: Probably
Question: Do I know anyone who does it? Answer: No
I know a lot of attorneys, on both sides of the isle, involved in the personal injury profession. I know these people to be decent, honest hardworking professionals. I promise you this: No one I know would risk their license and livelihood to seek out a client directly like this.
However, as in all businesses, there are bad apples. The bad apples spoil the bunch, and they clearly have where present. There are bad apple doctors. There are bad apple salespeople. There are bad apple insurance agents. There are bad apple mechanics. And, yes, there are bad apple attorneys.
But how many of these other jobs and professions wait for payment until after the results are obtained? How many of these other jobs or professions make their payment contingent on the result? Can you imagine not having to pay your doctor if his/her treatment doesn’t work? Experienced injury lawyers understand the people we are trying to help. We ask for no money up front.
We agree to do all the work necessary on the hope that we will get paid in the end. If we achieve the desired results, we get paid. If we don’t, we don’t get paid. Our time and any money that we have spent along the way become lost if we don’t achieve the results that we need to for our clients. Let me ask: What could be more fair than that??
We work for our clients. We fight to make things safer for everyone. We work at and with the legislature to keep the laws in the state fair. Products are made safe in the United States because of our legal system, and the “promise” that if you make a dangerous product and someone gets hurt, you will be made to pay for the harm. Self-serving? Some would say that.
But without the “promise” of personal and financial responsibility, honestly, where would we be as a civilized society? With the courts and the means to enforce our safety laws, where would we be? Do you really think that products would be anywhere near as safe if we could not hold the manufacturers responsible for harm caused by a dangerous product? Would people drive anywhere near as safe if they could never be liable for an accident?
No one likes lawyers--until they need one. Then, we are all sure glad that they exist, to enforce the laws, to fight for our rights and our protection. The last bastion of a truly free democracy? Perhaps. But we will hopefully never know, for if the United States ever gets to that point, we will all be crying for these days of law, order and justice.