Getting annoying and unsolicited calls from attorneys or doctors after you have been involved in a car wreck is illegal in most states. Many attorneys and doctors pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to advertise only to be undermined by unethical attorneys or doctors who use illegal runners to contact potential clients or injured parties.
I can’t say for sure if it’s an epidemic issue, I know in some areas of the country it may even be legal. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you did not call them, they should not be calling you.
Calls from attorneys after a car accident
At one time, I was a legal investigator for a large law firm here in Georgia. We would see clients, get accident reports, fill out paperwork, etc. I can remember meeting a client at Atlanta PD to pick up an accident report and go over it with her.
There was a nice, dressed gentleman standing outside of the records department approaching people as they left. How do I know this? He approached me asking me if I needed any legal help with my auto accident. I asked him which attorney he worked for, and he fell silent.
If you are solicited by anyone, ask them which attorney or doctor would be representing you, or treating you in your auto accident. Most of the time if they called you, they would hang up. If they approached you in person, they wouldn’t tell you.
These runners are paid for a every signed case delivered. They are paid a dollar amount per case they bring in. This necessarily does not mean you will get bad representation, but if they will cheat the system, what makes you think they won’t cheat you.
The term “ambulance chaser” is often used to describe lawyers or legal professionals who aggressively seek out and solicit clients, typically immediately after accidents or personal injuries. The term implies that these individuals are eager to profit from the misfortune of others and are quick to follow ambulances to the scene of accidents to offer their legal services.
Ambulance chasing is generally considered unprofessional and can be unethical in many jurisdictions. Bar associations and legal ethics rules often have strict guidelines about solicitation and advertising to protect the integrity of the legal profession. Soliciting clients in a manner that takes advantage of vulnerable individuals or involves unwarranted intrusion is typically discouraged.
It’s important to note that not all lawyers engage in ambulance chasing, and many legal professionals adhere to ethical standards in their client acquisition practices. However, the term is associated with those who may cross ethical boundaries to gain clients, particularly in the context of personal injury cases.
Calls from Doctors after a car accident
Pip or personal injury protection can bring out the worst in people. Doctors would call you in those states because they are guaranteed payment for their services rendered. They bill your auto insurance company for those services.
Call it greed if you will. These doctors don’t care about you, they care about your PIP. They won’t you to come in and treat with them so they can exhaust your pip benefits and send you on your way then go look for another victim. You should never treat with a doctor that calls you directly.
Pip or personal injury protection
Personal injury protection is guaranteed payment for medical services rendered after you or anyone in your car have been involved in a car accident. If you can imagine a doctor that gets an automatic payment for medical care, he may want to try and get as many people in the door as possible. So he may do things he normally wouldn’t do to get patients through the door. States that have pip are here.
Florida is trying to change the law as we speak to get rid of personal injury protection. One reason is the high cost of auto insurance and the corruption that comes with having pip. Since 2015, rates have gone up 25.7 percent.
Meanwhile, all liability coverage has gone up 23.4 percent in the past two years in FL. Doctors and attorneys have staged accidents to be able to treat and represent people who were paid to stage these accidents. Do you think Doctors or attorneys who stage accidents are looking out for your best interest.
We have been hearing a lot of complaints about doctors or representatives of doctor’s office calling auto accident victims. In one case in Douglasville, GA I was meeting with a client when a doctor’s office called, the client told me what was going on and I told her to hand me the phone.
I explained who I was and wanted to know who they were, they abruptly hung up. In another case an illegal runner went to the client’s house and knocked on the door. As said earlier, a good rule of thumb is if you did not call them, they should not be calling you.
How do they get my phone number
They can get your phone number from several places. A lot of people don’t understand how this happens, I tell you how it happens, it’s called cash. Everyone who has been involved in your accident, from the officer who wrote up the police report to the er nurse who treated you, is suspected. A records clerk was arrested out of Dekalb county for selling police reports to an illegal runner.
There are several ways to get your contact information.
- Police officer
- Tow truck driver
- Health care professional
- Records clerk
- other parties related directly to the accident.
I personally have never heard of an officer doing such a thing, but it is possible. These people sell your information to a runner who then uses this information to start calling you or soliciting you.
The calls themselves never come from an attorney or doctor directly. They want to insulate themselves from this type of activity. They generally use a third-party individual with no ties to their office to do the call.
Many accident victims don’t know who they can trust after they have been bombarded with unsolicited calls. Many ethical attorneys and doctors spend thousands of dollars advertising trying to bring in new business. Their job and their future are far more important to them than making a quick buck.
What can you do if this happens to you?
As said earlier, if you did not call them, they should not be calling you. This is always the best rule to follow because if you did not call them, how did they get your information?
Now, if you call a doctor’s office or an attorney’s office and they call you back, even if you change your mind, they can still call you. They spent a lot of money to get that phone to ring so they will aggressively pursue anyone who calls it. Now keep in mind, in some states it’s not illegal for a doctor or attorney to call you after an accident. However, if you are in a state for which it is illegal, there are a few steps you can take. Call the state bar association if its an attorney calling you. If a doctor is calling you, you can call medical board of licensing in the state.