Even if you’ve never been in a car accident, you’re probably familiar with police reports. But, do you really know what these reports are and what they entail? Basically, a responding officer to a scene of a car accident generates these police reports. It is a summary of information regarding motor vehicle collisions, including your personal information.
Okay, so now let’s say you have been in a car accident. You may be in a delicate situation, physically, mentally, emotionally and then shortly after out of the blue you receive a mailer or a call from an attorney’s office soliciting their services. You’d probably wonder: How did this attorney even get my information and so quickly?
In a situation like this, chances are you were a part of a pretty sleazy and gross practice adopted by law firms. These offices ‘chase’ people who are injured for profits. They will pay off police officers, paramedics, hospital staff and nurses to obtain any and all information regarding your situation. They obtain the accident report, how the accident happened, your personal information and they will solicit you, whether you wanted them to or not.
For example: Just a couple of months ago, an owner of an attorney referral service in suburban Chicago has been accused of bribery for paying two (2) Chicago police officers for reports on vehicle crashes before they were available to the public and then using the information to solicit accident victims as clients for lawyers.
The thing is traffic crash reports aren’t made public until after a processing period that ranges from a day to several weeks. Only then, once made public, can the public request these records for a fee. Officers can access these reports before being publicized, but only for law enforcement purposes. This is a classless and illegal way to get clients!
Paying for reports happens too often. Call them what you want: “ambulance chasers,” “cappers,” “steerers,” or “case runners,” they are the bottom feeders of the legal profession. Their job is to swoop into some tragic situation to find victims, survivors and their families and to sign them up for legal representation. It is sleazy work preying on the people in shock and not in a position to make a rational decision when deciding on legal representation.
This type of attorney conduct violates the law, impairs victim rights and harasses those suffering from the shock and pain of an auto collision, giving the public another reason to look with skepticism at the legal profession.
Most good lawyers who have good reputations don’t need to do this type of activity to get cases or clients. This type of ‘marketing’ is intrusive, inappropriate, unethical and makes good lawyers look bad. So, ask yourself; how did you find your attorney? If your attorney’s office contacted you without your request, you might want to reconsider who you have representing you.
If you have any questions about a case, call us any time for a free consult at 800-517-1614.