Be Careful if you are Solicited by an Attorney
Help Us Stop Ambulance Chasing
Frequently the question “do I need a lawyer?” is preempted by overzealous lawyers. This practice is called barratry, commonly referred to as “ambulance chasing.” It is defined as “the solicitation of employment to prosecute or defend a claim with the intent to obtain a personal benefit.” Simply put—ambulance chasing occurs when a lawyer or a lawyer’s representative illegally offers services to a prospective client. In Texas, the law prohibits lawyers initiating personal contact with potential clients who have not invited the contact.
How Does The Law Punish Ambulance Chasers?
Ambulance chasing is a serious offense under the Texas Penal Code and is a third degree felony in many cases. In addition to ambulance chasing being a crime, the law was recently amended to give people new civil remedies when they are illegally contacted by a lawyer. Clients contacted as a result of ambulance chasing can void employment contracts with lawyers that were illegally obtained. The law also allows people to collect a $10,000 penalty for each illegal phone or in person solicitation by a lawyer; this remedy can include actual damages arising from the illegal conduct as well as attorney’s fees.
How Do Ambulance Chasers Contact People?
Ambulance chasing usually involves some or all of the following tactics by a lawyer or a lawyer’s representative:
- Directly contacting a potential client, in person, by phone, through social media, or email, with the intent of being hired for legal assistance;
- Paying or offering to pay you money or anything of value to solicit you as a client;
- Unwanted solicitation before the 31st day after the accident occurred;
- Unwanted solicitation to you or a relative that has indicated a desire not to be contacted;
- Unwanted solicitation that involves coercion, duress, fraud, overreaching, harassment, intimidation, or undue influence; and
- Unwanted solicitation that contains a false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statement or claim.
What Should I Do If I Have Been The Victim Of Ambulance Chasing?
Immediately make note of who contacted you and preserve any business cards or contact information left by that person. Document and record the events surrounding the illegal solicitation with as much detail as possible before consulting an attorney about a possible barratry claim.
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers Today
Let the experienced attorneys at Roberts & Roberts help you. We are your Tyler & Longview, Texas attorneys. Contact us now at 903-597-6000 or 800-248-6000 or contact us online for help to stop barratry and protect the public. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything