When someone is injured, they may hire a personal injury attorney to fight on their behalf and uphold their best interests. However, some unscrupulous lawyers care more about their wallets than about guiding you through this stressful time. They may try to solicit you or use third parties to solicit you after an accident, this is often called ambulance chasing (legally known as running and capping).
According to the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.3, ambulance chasing is strictly forbidden in the state of Michigan. In fact, lawyers who are found guilty of illegal solicitation may face criminal penalties.
Attorneys will also face disciplinary actions from the State Bar of Michigan. These penalties are harsh, and are intended to discourage ambulance chasing. Personal injury attorneys must abide by strict guidelines when contacting a potential client. They must not contact an accident victim in any way for a minimum of 30 days following a motor vehicle accident. This includes phone calls, emails, face-to-face interactions, and written communication. Third parties working on behalf of a lawyer are also prohibited from contacting a potential client for at least 30 days.
In addition, attorneys must wait for 30 days before requesting the accident report to look up the victim’s contact information. These rules, set forth in Michigan’s legislation, are designed to protect accident victims from dishonest and crafty lawyers. These attorneys are usually just in it for a quick paycheck, and will not provide the representation you need to succeed.
By law, you have the responsibility to reach out and contact an attorney after an accident, not the other way around. If you are visited at the hospital or your home by an attorney who is trying to get your legal business, or you receive a phone call or letter persuading you to hire a certain lawyer within 30 days of the crash, this is breaking the law. You should immediately contact law enforcement, as well as the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, and give them the name, contact information, and any details you know about the attorney.
We want you to be informed of your rights regarding ambulance chasing. That is why our firm has produced a video discussing this issue.
Diana Lewis for Goodman Acker: Ambulance Chasing – What You Need to Know About This Illegal Activity
At Goodman Acker, P.C., we value honesty and integrity, and hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. Our Detroit personal injury lawyers have guided numerous clients to successful outcomes in a variety of cases. If you have been injured in a car accident or other type of accident, we will tirelessly fight on your behalf as you seek justice from those responsible.
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