This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of 'Do I Need a Lawyer?' hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.
I receive a lot of calls and emails from people that have been involved in car wrecks.
I'd like to share with you an email I received from someone that was involved in a car wreck in the city of atlanta.
Jackson from Atlanta asked:
"In January, I was involved in a car wreck in downtown Atlanta. The other driver was not paying attention and ran the red light. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital
and my car had to be towed. The doctors treated and released me and I took a few days off from work to recuperate.
A couple of days after the wreck, my phone started ringing off the hook. I was receiving calls from attorneys, "legal advisors", and chiropractors - all of them were trying to get me to hire them to represent me in my wreck.
Isn't this wrong? I feel very uncomfortable hiring any of them. What should I do?"
I have to tell you: this really ticks me off when attorneys - or people acting on their behalf - are out there engaging in this kind of practice.
We call these people "runners."
If you are hurt in a car wreck, the LAST person you need to hire to represent you - is an attorney that contacts you!
Let me show you how this racket works:
These runners have friends that work in the department that handles police reports.
These friends will give a copy of these police reports to the runners.
The runners will then start calling the people who were not a fault in the wreck.
Their goal is to refer them to attorneys or to chiropractors to represent them. If the attorney or chiropractor is able to sign up the client, they will pay the runner a referral fee.
It is illegal and unethical for attorneys to be out there soliciting cases like this.
An attorney cannot approach Jackson and ask him to hire the attorney.
This is called solicitation.
As attorneys, we are ethically prohibited from paying anyone else to solicit Jackson to hire our office.
Attorneys hire these runners to do their dirty work and deny they had any knowledge this person was out soliciting cases for them.
And it is not just attorneys that are engaging in this practice.
There are some doctors and chiropractors to it as well.
The runner will refer the injured person to a chiropractor.
The chiropractor will conveniently have an attorney at the office when the patient arrives for their first visit.
The chiropractor will strongly recommend that the injured person sign on with this attorney or they will have to pay for all of their doctor's visits up front.
It is a racket and a scam.
Now if you are hurt in a car wreck and you start receiving phone calls from these runners, let me give you a couple of suggestions:
(1) Get the name and phone number of the person that is calling you.
Ask them what lawyer they are working with on these cases.
If they deny they are working with a lawyer, ask them what doctor.
As soon as you have the name of the runner, the attorney or the doctor, tell the person calling you that you appreciate the information.
Tell them you do not want them to represent you and they should not call you again.
Hopefully, they will leave you alone after they hear this. And make sure you tell your attorney who was calling so they can take action with the State Bar of Georgia.
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(2) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER hire any attorney or treat with any doctor that will solicit you to be their client or patient. I promise you - if you do, it could seriously jeopardize your claim.
Now - if you have questions about a potential claim, please give us a call.
If not us, please call someone - but call an attorney that specializes in personal injury law.
You have absolutely nothing to lose by calling a lawyer, but think of all you can lose if you don't!
If you would like to speak with my law firm about your claim, we make it easy for you.
Just pick up the phone right now and give us a call at (770) 934-8000.
Our intake specialists are standing by right now to speak with you.
The consultation is FREE and completely confidential.
And I encourage you - if you don't call us, please call someone to help you with your claim.
You owe it to yourself - to your family - to get the help you need.
So give us a call right now. (770) 934-8000.